U.S. And Bolshevik Relations With The TBMM Government: The First Contacts, 1919-1921

H.B. Paksoy, D.Phil.

Originally published in The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies No. 12 (1994). pps. 211-251, reprinted courtesy of the author


"We have conducted a War of Independence. If the participants do not record it, its history will be reduced to fairytales."

Kazim Karabekir.1

During the 19th century, the European Balance of Power struggles were very much in the minds of the participating politicians and the ranking Civil Servants of the time. That struggle had spilled over to become, in the words of Kipling, the "Great Game in Asia." The "Eastern Question" was but a sub-division of the "Great Game," whose origins are traceable, inter alia, to the events leading to the treaties of Turkmenchai (1828), Adrianople (1829); Crimean War (1853-56) and the Congress of Berlin (1878). The principal players of the game included the British, Russian and German empires. What was justified on the surface as a race to acquire colonies, to take up "white man's burden" and to bring God's word to the "heathen populations," was actually a serious competition to secure supplies of raw materials and markets for industrial goods; or at least deny them to the opposing states. Those maneuvers were designed with grand strategic objectives and goals in sight, as perceived by competing planners. It was in the Caucasus that the Eastern Question and the Great Game were linked directly, especially at the outset of the First World War.2

Against this backdrop, the circumstances leading to the Turkish War of Independence, formally begun during 1919, were turbulent.3 After the dissolution of the Russian Tsarist Empire, the British planned to partition the regions west of the Caspian Sea, with a view to founding a number of small buffer states between the Bolshevik Russians and the Middle East. For the purpose, they deployed their troops in the regions of Merv and Baku. This was a continuation of the long standing Great Game policies. Simultaneously, the Ottoman Empire was also undergoing dismemberment4 and its provinces were being occupied by other Allies of the British according to the Treaty of Sevres signed by representatives of the Ottoman government: the French (Adana, Marash and environs); the Italians (Antalya region); and the Greeks (with the active support of the British, the Western half of Asia minor). The Ottoman capital was at that time under the joint occupation of British, French and Italian troops. They were reinforced by the local non-Turkish minorities of the Ottoman Empire, wearing the army uniforms of the occupying Allied armies, having been induced by the Allied powers to enlist.

Under these conditions, the first contacts between the Bolshevik and the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly)5 governments, as well as between the U. S. and the TBMM, were primarily made through General Kazim Karabekir (1882- 1948)6. Karabekir's visitors from both the U. S. and the Bolsheviks were charged by their respective governments with tasks of observing and reporting actual conditions within TBMM territories.

Though Karabekir evidently did not meet anyone from the King-Crane Commission7, nor with Admiral Bristol8 of the U.S. Navy, he kept himself informed of their activities. The contact with the U. S. Army General Harbord 9 came when the latter led a sizeable delegation, replete with several film crews, to investigate the state of the territory, inhabitants and its administrative apparatus. Despite the amicable contacts between the two men, this connection with the U. S. side did not develop to the level of those with the Bolsheviks, according to Karabekir, due to the self- imposed constraints under which the American side was operating.

As the Commander of the XV. Army Corps10, from April 1919, Karabekir had to deal not only with the strictly military matters of his front, but the full economic, political, religious and diplomatic aspects.11 Fluent in French and German (also spoke and read Russian), an experienced troop-commander of the First World War, and having been exposed to world affairs at decision making levels in the pre-war period, Karabekir was equipped to undertake his primarily self-defined duties.

Karabekir's relations with the Bolsheviks were extensive and complex. As the Bolsheviks did not yet have a track record, he first had to assess this relatively recent movement. Thus, he initiated contacts with the Bolsheviks well before the Red Armies occupied the Caucasus during 1920-1921. Karabekir closely followed the developments across the Caucasus, selected and appointed the personnel to represent the TBMM government in several capitals, outlined their negotiation parameters, and kept a close watch on the economic, political and diplomatic conditions in the neighboring territories -- including Iran and Afghanistan. Karabekir's contacts with Moscow, perhaps more important than his military activities, are significant in the early history of the Turkish Republic. Through these channels of communication, the TBMM government was able to exchange diplomatic missions, and secure two initial financial aid packages from Moscow, enabling the TBMM to carry forward the Turkish National War of Independence. In the intervening period, as he learned more about the new ideology, Karabekir remained a Nationalist and firmly in opposition to Bolshevism in his homeland. In addition to instigating the Erzurum Congress (23 July - 7 August 1919), it was Karabekir who, with those thoughts in mind, convened and negotiated the Kars Treaty of 1921, signed between the TBMM and the Bolshevik government that established the basis of the present borders between the USSR and the Turkish Republic.
This study explores the initial TBMM contacts with the U. S. and the Bolsheviks.12


During 1919, under military occupation, the functions of the Istanbul Ottoman government increasingly came under the direct rule of foreign powers.13 While each of the Allies was engaged in disseminating its own views, often in competition against one another, a relatively new political ideology and, simultaneously, a resurgence of colonialism appeared on the scene. These were first applied in Istanbul for eventual transmittal into the interior of the country: Bolshevism and the Mandate. Several of the Powers volunteered for the Mandate, or "advised" each other to take it on. In fact, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 established a special body, "The Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey" pursuant to the Secret Treaties among the Allies signed between 1915-1917. However, economic and political competition among the powers complicated the issue. There were also disagreements even among the various agencies of each Power as to how the Mandate issue ought to be approached. Many favored partition of the Ottoman territories based upon "existing knowledge," the nature of which was not publicly divulged. Others urged comprehensive studies of conditions on the ground before drawing lines on the map. Some of those arguments were even previously printed, either as official position papers, or as "private" lectures.14

As befits the earlier European Balance of Power Struggles, the disagreements among the Allies generally stemmed from the politico-economic benefits to be derived from the mandated areas, and their division. This was most apparent from the specific oil exploitation agreements. For example, "...by April 1919, France and Great Britain had signed the Long-Berenger Oil Agreement, which became the basis of the San Remo Oil Agreement of 24 April 1920. By this agreement Great Britain and France delimited their oil interests in Russia and Romania, British and French colonies, and especially in Mesopotamia. France was allotted a 25 per cent share in the oil exploitation."15 Shortly before the Royal Navy had begun converting its fleets from coal to oil burners, and the "Oil Policy in the Middle Eastern Mandates" was already being discussed between the U. S. and Great Britain.16 Thus, when the 10 August 1920 Sevres Treaty was signed as a supplement to the Treaty of Versailles (signed on 28 June 1919)17, the division of economic benefits was already agreed upon between the European Allies.

Therefore, the Sevres Treaty essentially was providing the political framework through which the earlier economic treaties were to be enforced, by dividing the territories of the Ottoman lands, including Asia Minor, among Great Britain, France and Italy, and their local Allies.

Following the Sevres Treaty, U. S. and Great Britain began a diplomatic correspondence concerning the economic rights of the U. S. in the region under discussion. Great Britain, while not disputing the rights of the U. S., pointedly suggested that the issue be considered within the League of Nations context. However, since the U. S. "had not taken her seat at the League of Nations," controversy continued.18 As one consequence, the U. S. did not become a participant in the Lausanne Convention, which culminated in the July 1923 Lausanne Treaty19. However, the U. S. attained the status of Observer, with full rights to have representatives present in all discussions. Shortly after the signing of the Lausanne Treaty, the U. S. and Ankara Governments concluded their bilateral agreement, the first of many to come, "providing for protection of philanthropic and religious enterprises, free navigation, adjustment of claims, safeguarding of minorities, regulation of naturalization, and archeological research." On 12 October 1927, the first U. S. Ambassador Joseph C. Grew presented his credentials to the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk].20

During 1919, under the conditions of military occupation, both Bolshevism and the Mandate found enthusiastic supporters in Istanbul and even attracted interest among some leaders of the Nationalist movement. The first to receive consideration was the American Mandate, since the proposals for the individual or collective British, French and Italian Mandates were most vehemently opposed. Despite that, British propaganda was intensifying to take the mandate21. To facilitate it, the Ingiliz Muhipleri Cemiyeti [Friends of England Society] was established in Istanbul, with branches planned at every major population center and even a Ladies Auxiliary22. Aware of the efforts, Admiral Bristol became alarmed and sent requests to the American Peace Commission in Paris (in February 1919) for an investigative commission. The Allied censorship exercised over the Istanbul press was so tight, Admiral Bristol was unable to secure an outlet for his Government's official views.

Apparently, Admiral Bristol was acquiring his own information in every way possible, as he worked to persuade his superiors on the need for the U. S. Mandate. The first U. S. contact mentioned by Karabekir was with a Lieutenant "said to be an adviser to Admiral Bristol." This Lieutenant accompanied Rawlinson23 to Erzurum, along with a Russian Colonel of the Denikin forces24, on 29 June 1919. Karabekir does not identify the Lieutenant by name, or his Service affiliation, but appears to be impressed with the ideas expressed by this Lieutenant and his manner.25 Karabekir also indicates that there were a number of other U. S., French26, Russian officers passing through his territory during this period, on their way to the Caucasus. On 3 July 1919, the Ottoman General Staff Intelligence Department circulated a summary of Istanbul newspaper accounts, on the arrival in Istanbul from the Caucasus of a twelve member U. S. delegation, on its way to the Paris Peace Conference to submit its report. Since the King-Crane Commission did not arrive in Istanbul for another month, and the Harbord Commission followed King-Crane Commission's departure, this 12 man delegation must have been concerned with the proposed Mandate in the Caucasus.

Indeed, members of the Missionary Board, the Food Relief, plus various lone military officers were appearing at sundry locations in the Caucasus under a multitude of designations and duties.27 A number of the other "Delegates" proved to be at best impostors, being mainly persons from among the local allies of the Occupying Powers. Some of these even appropriated the officer uniforms of the British and the French armies, and impersonated allied officers to the detriment of all concerned.28

The American Commission to Negotiate Peace (which had its own Intelligence Section) finally recommended a Commission to be sent to Turkey to investigate the proposal for the U. S. Mandate. Approved by President Wilson29, King-Crane Commission was formally charged with its specified duties by the Secretary of State R. Lansing on 30 April 1919. On 29 May 1919, the King-Crane Commission, officially designated as the American Section of the Inter- Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, left Paris by rail. The Commission first went to Syria and Iraq. The Turkish portion of the King-Crane Commission's investigations began on 23 July 1919, upon their arrival in Istanbul. On 31 July, the Commission began interviews of all political parties.30

Despite the censorship, on 1 August 1919, Istanbul newspapers report the arrival in Istanbul of an American Delegation, which contacted the representatives of all political parties there. This break in the apparent news embargo was perhaps because the King-Crane Commission made its presence widely-felt by contacting large groups of interested parties, to obtain their positions with a view toward reporting the entire spectrum to the Paris Peace Conference. Admiral Bristol's efforts finally bore fruit. Karabekir learned that a memorandum was adopted by an amalgamation of political groups in Istanbul, containing the framework of an American Mandate, to be handed to the American delegation 13 August 1919.31 Consequently, the Erzurum Congress, which has been in session since 23 July (until 7 August 1919)32 sent a memorandum to President Wilson on the same day (1 August). It was probably also meant to remind all other parties of Wilson's 14 Points and the fact that the Nationalists were aware of them.33 Among the objectives of the Nationalists was, it appears, to signal the resolve of the Nationalists to the interested parties, and display their intent not to tolerate indiscriminate political pressure.34

On 7 August 1919 Rawlinson and his staff left the Eastern Asia Minor where they have been residing since the Armistice.35 On 9 August 1919, two Americans arrived in Erzurum by way of Diyarbakir-Van-Beyazit. Karabekir indicates that they evaded the question of what they were hoping to find. Karabekir surmises their mission was "to determine if the area is suitable for the 'mandate.'"36

What began as a suggestion to the Nationalists to accept the American Mandate at the time of the Erzurum Congress, became a major campaign immediately afterwards. By the time Sivas Congress was convened37, no less than three channels were working on the Nationalist leadership to persuade them at least to "consider" the American Mandate, if not outright adopt a resolution in favor of it at the Sivas Congress. Even a sample copy, to provide the bases of such a resolution, was supplied through two of the channels. On 17 August 1919 a telegram from the III. Army Corps (Sivas) indicates that one Vasif Bey had forwarded a report on the American Mandate to Mustafa Kemal. Moreover, Vasif Bey desired to send two members of the American Investigative Committee [meaning the King-Crane Commission] to Erzurum, to discuss the wishes of the people38. Just about that time, in a cable sent to Karabekir on 23 June, Mustafa Kemal indicated he was considering the suitability of Bolshevism for the Movement.39

The second channel was through Ismet Bey [Inn]40 to Karabekir. On 30 August 1919, a Staff Officer41 had brought the American Mandate proposals of Izzet Pasha42 by way of Ismet Bey from Istanbul to Trabzon43. On 4 September 1919, that Memorandum signed by Izzet Pasha reached Karabekir44. Ismet Bey sent along a personal letter to Karabekir urging him and the Representatives at the Erzurum Congress to give it due thought.45

Efforts were also underway to relay the American Mandate Memorandum directly to the participants of the Sivas Congress about to convene, attempting to "go over the heads" of the Nationalist leadership. Karabekir delayed the dissemination of the Memorandum, and moreover refrained from discussing it with anyone. Ismet Bey followed it up several times, writing even directly to Mustafa Kemal46, who relayed Ismet Bey's communication to Karabekir on 4 December 1919 with a request that the contents of the American Mandate Proposal ought not be made available to the Representative Council [the early nucleus of the TBMM]47. Ismet Bey wrote again to Karabekir specifically stating he was aware that the American Mandate Memorandum was in Karabekir's hands (on the strength of the courier's report who returned) and Karabekir ought to relay it to the Representative Council without further delay.48 By way of proof, Ismet Bey enclosed a telegram and its answer, one of the addressees and respondents was Mustafa Kemal, who flatly stated that the Proposal had not arrived.49

Vasif Bey was also attempting to make the existence of the American Mandate proposal public by disseminating it more widely. For the purpose, he informed the III. Army Corps (Sivas) Command that copies were sent to others. News of these actions reached Karabekir.50 Vasif Bey also contacted the XX. Army Corps (Ankara) Commander Ali Fuat51, who was a close friend of Mustafa Kemal. In turn, Ali Fuat also notified Karabekir of the communication.52 Finally, Karabekir wrote a terse cable to Ismet Bey, sending a verbatim copy to the Representative Council, which included Mustafa Kemal.53 In no uncertain terms, Karabekir reiterated that the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses constitute the decisions of the people, therefore ought not to be evaded. Mustafa Kemal thanked Karabekir, adding he entirely agreed with Karabekir's position.54 Karabekir notes that three days later (on 9 January 1920) the Bolsheviks occupied Odessa and the U. S. vessels in Istanbul received orders to return stateside.55 In the end, although the Paris Peace Conference had agreed to a U. S. Mandate, and in competition, the British continued work to establish a British Mandate on the same territory, there was to be no outright mandate as originally envisioned.

It is of interest to raise a question, with several parts: Who on the U. S. side gathered the necessary intelligence to link Izzet Pasha-Ismet Bey-Kazim Karabekir and Ali Fuat with Mustafa Kemal?56 Who managed to obtain a Memorandum in favor of the American Mandate from Izzet Pasha and transmitted it to Karabekir? Performance of these tasks suggests the existence of not only an information gathering network, but also an operational capability --since Istanbul was under Allied occupation, and the occupying forces controlled all governmental functions, especially the appointments and movements of the Ottoman army officers. As the U. S. was not an occupying power, how was it that a memorandum directly opposing the position of the occupying powers was being relayed through Ottoman channels? Moreover, because the King-Crane Commission did not leave Istanbul to investigate, and instead invited a myriad of individuals and committees to come and present their opinions, the views of the Nationalists in Asia Minor were not represented before the King-Crane Commission, except by unsanctioned proxy.57 Although the Harbord Commission made an attempt at least to see the land, it arrived after most of the cited initiatives were already completed. Consequently, the Harbord Commission could not have played a role in getting the American Mandate Proposal to the Nationalist leadership. It is unlikely that the King-Crane Commission could have collected and sifted through the information, identified opportunities, built the channels and acted (including securing leave of absence and travel permit for the courier officer), all within two weeks. So the original question stands: Who was able to perform all of the foregoing? One possibility, the logical one, is Admiral Bristol. Although Karabekir does not specifically record, it appears he, too, maintained contact with Admiral Bristol by way of unofficial representatives.58

The Harbord Commission sailed from Brest on the U.S.S. Martha Washington on 20 August 1919 and arrived in Istanbul on 2 September. The Harbord Commission report was completed on 16 October 1919, on board ship.59 In the intervening period, General Harbord met Mustafa Kemal on 20 September 1919, who informed Karabekir.60 Karabekir not only already knew of the impending arrival of General Harbord, but was aware of the composition of his retinue, the types of questionnaires they carried, the questions they asked others on the way, and their itinerary.61 General Harbord arrived in Erzurum on 25 September 1919, was welcomed in the best tradition and ceremonies by Karabekir and his Staff. Dinner was served in the Headquarters dining hall, decorated with U. S. and Turkish flags for the occasion, in accompaniment to a live trio of piano, violin and flute. Next to each American officer sat a foreign language speaking member of Karabekir's Staff. These gestures were not lost on the visiting delegation. Karabekir also prepared a detailed report directly addressing the Commission's concerns and presented it to General Harbord.62 The two men also held lengthy private talks, apparently speaking French, and attended plays staged by war orphans being cared for by Karabekir and the XV. Army Corps (Erzurum).63 Karabekir had earlier written the plays himself.

The other mandate seekers, with pecuniary and political ambitions, were not yet prepared to leave the scene. Several local dignitaries and former officials affiliated with the occupation government in Istanbul appeared in the Malatya- Diyarbakir region in the company of Major Noel of the British Army.64 Intelligence reports started pouring onto Karabekir's desk.65 A number of the visitors were specifically sent from Istanbul for the occasion.66 All had previously held high administrative positions particularly in Eastern Asia Minor, and reportedly had accepted payments between one hundred fifty to over two hundred thousand Pounds Sterling each, and were expending efforts to cause a "tribal incident" in Eastern Asia Minor.67 Such an "incident" involving the Kurds would have prepared the international public opinion for a politically acceptable occupation and division of all Asia Minor. That would also have forced the U. S. government to rescind Article 12 of Wilson's Memorandum, thereby removing from the equation the Nationalists, who were preventing both the occupation and the mandate.68 Acting jointly, Commanders of the XIII. (Diyarbakir), III. (Sivas), and XV. (Erzurum) Corps concentrated their efforts towards preventing any staged incident from taking place within their jurisdictions.69 Orders and detachments went out to arrest the named dignitaries and ex-administrators, who returned hastily to Istanbul via Aleppo.70 On 6 September 1919, a compilation of the "Crimes of the Cabinet" in Istanbul was drafted and sent to the Sivas Congress, followed by a detailed expose of the plotters.71

At that point, Istanbul occupation governments attempted to consolidate the "troubles" in Asia Minor in the crucible of "Bolshevism." On 19 September 1919, while the Harbord Commission was investigating the conditions in Asia Minor, Prime Minister Damat Ferit gave an interview to a French wire service, which was duly reported in the Istanbul papers. Damat Ferit asserted that beginning with the Samsun and Trabzon regions, Asia Minor was falling into the hands of the Bolshevik inspired groups. Since Bolshevism was already understood to be against religion and tradition, the interview was meant to incite the population against the "Bolshevik inspired groups" in Asia Minor.72 To counter the propaganda in kind, Nationalists had appropriately worded petitions sent directly to the Sultan in Istanbul, with copies to General Harbord.73 By the beginning of 1920, as the Bolshevik armies started pushing Denikin's forces South, this type of public opinion campaigns began proliferating. They were to reach monumental proportions after the defeat of Denikin forces became public knowledge.74


Halil and Nuri Pashas75, who were arrested and imprisoned by the British in Batum, inexplicably managed a jailbreak. Both individually began private operations in the Caucasus against the Bolsheviks, continually urging Karabekir to support them militarily. Karabekir, long familiar with the pair, remained unconvinced of the propriety and utility of their activities and argued that their initiatives were tantamount to adventurism. Having fought the tsarist Russian armies in the First World War, Karabekir was not a Russophile. Neither a Russophobe, Karabekir looked upon the Bolshevik movement as a possible lever against the occupying Allies who were endeavoring to physically surround the TBMM movement. He was aware, too, that the Allies were expending an all out effort to contain the Bolsheviks north of the Caucasus, and hoped to use the small independent states of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia as a buffer zone between the Russians and the Middle East. This was also planned by way of another "Mandate," and, inter alia, the Italians were being encouraged to take this assignment.76 All three Caucasus states had declared independence in 1918, and the first two were granted de facto recognition early in 1920, after Denikin's defeat. All three sent delegations to the Paris Peace Conference,77 but not all gained "full accreditation." Karabekir's analysis indicated that under no circumstances would these three Republics be able to contain a Bolshevik military advance, for they lacked not only organization, trained cadres, but also the population. Therefore, Karabekir thought, only a political solution could save these three entities.78 He endeavored to provide any such help that was feasible under the circumstances.79

Cognizant of the critical importance of collecting reliable and continuous information, after consulting with Rauf Bey80 and Mustafa Kemal, Karabekir sent Doctor Fuat Sabit to Moscow81. The aim was to maintain close contact with the intentions and actions of the Bolsheviks. As noted earlier, Mustafa Kemal was also making demarches concerning Bolshevism.82 Moreover, Karabekir had established intelligence links into the Caucasus, at times sending officers from his command. The information flow is evident from the contents of the copious circulars Karabekir was telegraphing to the other Army Corps and the TBMM leadership.

Meanwhile, skirmishes between the French colonial forces and the citizens of Antep, Marash and Adana began. Later the fighting spread to Urfa and environs. The French withdrew.83 Contacts with the Italians in the Antalya region was under observation. The British were attempting to recruit junior Ottoman army officers, even encouraging them to desert from Karabekir's Command, for the military units to be fleshed out by the Caucasians, whose sole aim would be to fight the Bolsheviks. All publications, domestic or foreign, were awash with news of Bolshevik military advances. Concurrently, news of social unrest in the home countries of the occupying Allied Powers were being touted. Some were premature, or exaggerated, but the general tenor was not entirely misleading. The Istanbul government, under the leadership of Damat Ferit and Ali Kemal, was also increasing its Bolshevik attributions to the TBMM movement, to turn the support of the Turkish population away from the TBMM. For a while, it appeared that the Bolshevik propaganda had gained the upper hand. The TBMM seriously began considering this new development.84 The TBMM leadership had to prepare simultaneously for both war and peace, an inherently demanding set of circumstances, both against the internal and external adversaries, in political and military arenas.

Once again, Rawlinson appeared in Erzurum, around February 1920. He and Karabekir paid courtesy visits to each other. Rawlinson was interested in discovering the extent of Karabekir's knowledge concerning developments then in progress in the Caucasus and about the Bolsheviks. Aware of Rawlinson's communications with the British Istanbul Center via long and cyphered telegrams, Karabekir simply suggested that Rawlinson could directly ask Batum (where the British also maintained a Center) or Istanbul. Next day, Karabekir received a cable from Sevket Turgut Pasha (at that moment, the Chief of the Ottoman General Staff of the Occupied Istanbul government)85 posing basically the same type of questions put to him by Rawlinson the previous evening. Karabekir, considering this a new tack, provided an outline of information generally available.86 During the following few days Karabekir was sending a much different set of cyphered telegrams to other Army Corps Commanders and the Representative Council, providing specific intelligence. In contrast to the intelligence summaries sent from the Representative Council in Ankara to Karabekir during those days, it appears Karabekir's network possessed more reliable sources, at least pertaining to the East.

Next, Rawlinson began probing Karabekir for a military operation, encouraging him to reclaim the three Eastern Ottoman Provinces lost to the tsarists during 1877, and again in 1914 campaigns.87 In the light of the other information available to him, Karabekir concluded that the British no longer had faith in any other means of containing the Bolsheviks except by the "use" of the TBMM forces. As a side benefit, Karabekir thought, such an action by the TBMM would have eliminated the TBMM military resistance to the occupying powers in Istanbul. As the means of containing Bolshevism, the transition in Allied thinking from direct Mandate plans to encouraging the Anti-Bolshevism of TBMM began. But, this was not entirely obvious to the TBMM.88 The principal TBMM concern was that the TBMM territories were in danger of being entirely and completely surrounded by hostile forces, eventually drowning the movement. Therefore, the TBMM leadership had to consider all possibilities of preventing that anticipated encirclement. In that endeavor, the Bolsheviks could be either an ally, or an adversary. The Bolsheviks could aid the TBMM in breaking the blockade of the Allies, or, if the TBMM leadership did not resist, engulf and devour the TBMM themselves in accordance with earlier tsarist goals and plans.89 In fact, shortly afterwards, it became clear that the Bolsheviks merely postponed their overt plans of demanding land90, and were about to mount a "revolutionary movement" from within the TBMM territories, preferrably beginning in Ankara91. For the purpose, a Turkish Communist Party was already established and became "operational" in Baku. In addition, during 1920-1921 the Bolshevik government was funding Enver Pasha in Moscow, who in turn was preparing a secret organization out of previous CUP personnel to take over the TBMM movement. The intentions and the direction of the Bolshevik philosophy and policies was just gaining clarity in the minds of the TBMM leadership.

For its own part, Moscow was hard at work.92 Lenin made no secret of his intentions, according to Times [London] of 16 January 1920, which reached Karabekir on 25 February 1920. The circumstances required immediate sorting of the information.93 One cable from Rauf Bey, in the context of reports from Dr. Fuat Sabit, allowed a modicum of comparison.94 Dr. Fuat's letters provided information on the Bolshevik leadership's thoughts and pointed to British plans to form a confederation involving Southern Azerbaijan, and the portion of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic95, then independent, previously occupied by the tsarist regime.96 However, that channel was about to outlive its usefulness, if indeed it ever was of any true help. Dr. Fuat had been coopted by the Bolsheviks.97

On 16 March 1920, the British forces launched a night- time attack on Ottoman troops, while they slept, in Istanbul. The British occupied the Chambers of the recently elected Representative Assembly (Meclisi Mebusan), the Ministry of War, and later the telegraph offices. The TBMM leadership in Ankara had received early warning of the event a day earlier, "from Italian sources."98 Immediately afterwards, the Representatives of the Occupying Powers (signing with that designation only) telegraphed a circular letter to all provinces, asking the Governors and other officials in charge to inform the population of a series of arrests (including the Deputies) and new orders, in favorable words and report back immediately. Karabekir ordered that Governors in the XV. Army Corps region should not answer the cable at all.99 Karabekir also ordered Rawlinson be taken into protective custody, preferably within the confines of his residence.100 Rawlinson voluntarily withdrew the Union Jack he was flying from the upper floors of his house.101 Rawlinson and Karabekir exchanged very polite messages, conveying understanding of the circumstances to each other.102

On 17 March 1920, Karabekir sent additional officers from his command to Azerbaijan, in order to gather reliable information on the Bolshevik movements. On the same day, three Bolsheviks, sent by Lenin to Istanbul seven months earlier, surfaced in the vicinity of Trabzon. They were on their way to Batum and had been charged with the duty of establishing contacts with individuals and political parties favorable to Bolshevism and to found an organization.103 This Bolshevik Delegation had a list of questions, the contents of which were cabled to Karabekir. Karabekir provided answers via the 3rd Division in Trabzon. He also advised the TBMM leadership in Ankara. In response, Mustafa Kemal, writing on behalf of the TBMM on 18 March 1920, cabled his complete agreement with Karabekir's comments to the said Delegation. Ankara leadership also agreed with Karabekir's recommendations to convene the TBMM in Ankara, with the participation of those Representatives who had escaped British arrest in Istanbul.104 Subsequently it was learned that Rauf Bey and Vasif Bey were forcibly detained by the Allies, press and communications censorship tightened in Istanbul.105

On 23 March 1920, two Bolshevik Inspectors [no names cited] arrived in the vicinity of Trabzon,106 to rendezvous with Batum Bolsheviks. One of whom stated he was sent from Moscow to gather information on the conditions in Batum. An officer representing Karabekir was also present in the meeting, by prior arrangement.107 The Bolsheviks provided information on their strength, conditions in the Caucasus, their own programs. They appeared to have detailed knowledge on the activities of Halil and Nuri Pashas. Karabekir sent an additional set of questions and received answers. The Inspectors did not possess authority to negotiate but indicated that they would request a Plenipotentiary from Moscow for the purpose, and suggested a counterpart be designated from the Turkish side. In fact a three man delegation had already been sent to Istanbul some two months earlier; it was headed by one Can Bey, and included a colonel and an engineer. Moreover, a person authorized to speak on the affairs of the Caucasus was about to arrive in Tbilisi [presumably from Moscow], and he would be invited to Batum. They also asserted that many German engineers, officers had joined the Bolsheviks, bringing along their weapons and industrial plants. The two individuals returned to Batum on 25 March.108

Karabekir established two more intelligence gathering points, in Kars and Sarikamis. On 25 March, an armed skirmish took place between the National Forces [Kuvai Milliye]109 and the British units in the vicinity of Izmit.110 On 26 March, a wireless set became operational in Erzurum, began gathering open news broadcasts by all parties. Two others were established in Bayazit and Van.111 On 27 March, a French representative resident in Trabzon provided personal opinions to the Governor of the province, and requested contact with Karabekir, indicating his opposition to British policies and promising to work in favor of the TBMM cause in the Paris Peace Conference. Karabekir sent word that such matters required the attention of TBMM in Ankara. Separately, Rawlinson proposed to serve as a mediator between the TBMM and the British Headquarters in Istanbul. The suggestion was accepted by the TBMM side, but rejected by the British Istanbul Headquarters. Those previous members of the Representative Assembly managing to break through the Allied blockade began arriving in Ankara. Among them were author Halide Edib [Adivar]112, President of the Assembly Celaleddin Arif Bey, as well as Ismet Bey [Inn].

On 11 April, Artillery Lieutenant Ibrahim Efendi returned from Baku, after having established contact, as ordered, with Halil and Nuri Pashas. The letters he carried were signed "Turkish Communist Party" and with its abbreviation, TKP. A significant item in the letters was the request for a Plenipotentiary from the TBMM side, to coordinate actions with the Bolshevik organizers in Baku, whose names and duties were also noted.113 Karabekir relayed the information to TBMM, including its appendix of organization charts. Next day, Karabekir was notified of the arrival of another courier, Riza Bey, the Commander of the 7th Regiment, 3rd Division, XV. Army Corps. The letter he carried was signed Baha Sait114, containing more information on the Bolsheviks, including the news that the Plenipotentiary sent by Moscow to Istanbul was on his way back and arrived in Baku from Istanbul. Baha Sait's letter was also relayed to Ankara, in cyphered sections. Karabekir saw the need to pose a question to Mustafa Kemal: "...In his letter, Baha Sait often refers to an Agreement signed in your name115 in Istanbul, and handed to the Bolshevik Plenipotentiary. I surmise this is the agreement relayed to you by Rauf Bey [Orbay]. A copy of it shall be appreciated."116

The next day, Karabekir sent a longer cable to Mustafa Kemal, providing comments: "...it seems plausible that the said Agreement may have been seen by a Delegation of the Istanbul Government [membership in which is] as yet unknown to us....Baha Sabit Bey's Chief of Staff is a Russian....the declaration made by the Istanbul Government following their occupation [of the Meclisi Mebusan] and related threats, to the Provincial Governors in the said circular to prevent any cooperation with the Bolsheviks, indicate Istanbul's [Allies'] awareness of this Agreement....Yusuf Ziya Bey arrived from Baku with [an unspecified amount of] money, went to Oltu. He attempted activities which he tried to keep secret from me [he and apparently TKP acting on its own]....Bolsheviks requesting our military intervention by the XV. Army Corps in the Caucasus during the winter months require careful evaluation...."117

Mustafa Kemal responded with a short cable, requesting that Karabekir establish contacts with the Bolsheviks at the earliest possible time, noting the Ankara group was aware and appreciative of all previous demarches made by Karabekir. Karabekir wrote back a long answer, first outlining the background of all past contacts with the Bolsheviks through his command, adding his analysis of what the Bolsheviks are trying to do against his forces and his precautions. Since "....Halil and Nuri Pashas no longer constitute a viable channel, it is imperative that a TBMM Plenipotentiary be sent to Moscow without delay to establish direct contact..."118 On 15 April 1920, Mustafa Kemal cabled the following: "I reiterate, the Agreement referenced by Baha Sabit Bey, was not signed by me. Copy of the said document follows." The "Agreement" in question stated that it has been contracted between the Usak Congress and the "Karakol Cemiyeti"119 on one side, both of whom representing the Turkish Revolution, and the [unnamed] Caucasus Plenipotentiary of the Ishtirakiyun [Social Democrat] Party Central Committee, acting on behalf of the People's Commissars of the Rusya Mttehit Sovyetler Cumhuriyeti [Russian Soviet Federated Republic]. It further stated that Baha Sait Bey was signatory on behalf of the Usak Congress and the Karakol Cemiyeti, as their Plenipotentiary accredited to Caucasus. Signed on 11 January 1920 in Baku.120

Mustafa Kemal followed up with another cable, with two supplements. "The said Agreement was sent for signature by Kara Vasif Bey.121 Following are the answers I sent in response to that proposal, and the [separate] letter I wrote to Rauf Bey. I absolutely did not sign [the Agreement]. Baha Sait Bey is constructing falsehoods. If Kara Vasif Bey had signed it on behalf of the Karakol Cemiyeti without our knowledge, we repudiate it. As we shall not undertake any action in that regard without your knowledge, participation and agreement....you may refute it [in any strength] as you think necessary..."122 Karabekir surmised that Baha Sait's position was weakened when the local Bolsheviks in the Caucasus realized that TBMM side was in high level contacts with the Bolsheviks through Dr. Fuat and Halil Pasha, and that Baha Sait was not representing the TBMM. Baha Sait thus endeavored to regain credibility by engineering such an Agreement and that may be the reason behind the Bolshevik requests for a TBMM Plenipotentiary. Karabekir apparently was partially correct, since the Karakol Cemiyeti was being funded by the Bolsheviks through Enver Pasha; quite apart from the TKP. After that evaluation, Karabekir sent two cables to the Representative Council in Ankara on 18 April 1920. The first was in response to the cable of 15 April, proposing the specific personnel to constitute the advance military delegation being sent to Baku, to be later followed by the full Commission. The second telegram outlined the instructions to the military delegation Karabekir proposed to send. As no response was forthcoming from Ankara, Karabekir dryly notes that he repeated the cables on the 22nd, 23rd, and 26th, finally receiving answers on the 27th of April.123

TBMM was officially convened for the first time on 23 April 1920.124 After the installation of Mustafa Kemal as TBMM Chairman, Karabekir implies that his primary political objectives were accomplished.125 However, the Bolshevik issue was gaining momentum and importance. On 15 April 1920, Karabekir circulated a declaration addressed to "everywhere, including Istanbul" containing a synopsis of all available information on prevailing conditions within Bolshevik occupied territories and lands adjacent. The declaration contained specific section headings on the Tatars, Kirghiz, Bashkurt, Sart, Turkmen and Yomut126 as a part of the overall analysis. In due course, Karabekir even mentions Zeki Velidi [Togan] by name among leaders of the National Liberation Movements in that region.127 Karabekir also urged Mustafa Kemal, as Chairman of the TBMM, to broadcast a Declaration on TBMM relations, expected or actual, with "the servants of the Istanbul Government" as well as with the Bolsheviks.128

On 26 April 1920, the response desired by Karabekir arrived129. TBMM approved his plan that a military delegation to be sent to Baku, and the contents of the communication they were to carry. TBMM officially was asking for money from the Moscow government.130 Karabekir added a separate questionnaire to be answered by the Bolshevik side, and a letter to the Turkish Communist Party in Baku. Before the designated delegation could leave, the news of Red Army's occupation of Baku on 28 April 1920 arrived. The travelling route through Batum was now closed. A second venue through Nakchevan was established and new letters had to be written; they were sent on 5 May. The Istanbul government was beginning to increase the pressure on the civilian bureaucracy through fresh appointments from Istanbul, to displace those Prefercts and Governors loyal to TBMM. Apparently, not all of the Istanbul appointees actually tried hard to take up their appointments within the TBMM territories, but the TBMM was not at ease and endeavored to counter all such initiatives. Karabekir also suggested the publication of a foreign language newspaper for distribution abroad.131 There were also the usual frictions among colleagues and friends that take place during highly-charged times.132

As a means of countering increasing propaganda from Istanbul, TBMM sent a congratulatory cable to the recently established Orenburg Government for distribution in the "East," on 29 April 1920, along with a new Declaration of the TBMM.133 The telegraphers, to whom the TBMM movement owed an immense debt, founded the Association of Professional Telegraphers in Defense of the Motherland, and informed Karabekir. Acutely aware of their inestimable contribution to the Independence Movement efforts, Karabekir heartily congratulated the membership of this new society (perhaps the first professional association in the TBMM era) via an open letter published in the (probably the Albayrak in Erzurum),134 local paper.135

On 2 May 1920, TBMM announced the establishment of its standing executive committee, the Council of Ministers. The monetary crisis in Ankara forced Mustafa Kemal on 3 May 1920 to ask Karabekir to request funds from the Azerbaijan government.136 On 5 May, as noted above, not knowing how the newly Bolshevik Azerbaijan government was going to react, and having lost the Batum channel, Karabekir opened another via Bayazit and Oltu. A new letter was sent to the Turkish Communist Party in Baku. Simultaneously, Karabekir wrote to TBMM, urging them not to delay the decision on sending a Plenipotentiary to Moscow. Meanwhile, Peace Conference deliberations were continually being discussed by the daily media in Europe, drawing ever changing lines of influence by various powers on the map.137 Istanbul government was also assigning new Extraordinary Inspectors for Asia Minor, but the appointees were rarely leaving Istanbul. Also, attempts were being made to establish quasi-military units loyal to the Istanbul government to fight the TBMM forces. Fighting between the invading Bolshevik armies and the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan forces was continuing while the TBMM borders in the East began to be violated. There were disagreements between the TBMM leadership and Karabekir as to how best to deal with these conditions. Politics, internal and external, began to clash with military strategy among the TBMM leadership, as the Bolshevik armies proceeded bloodily to occupy Caucasian territories. Karabekir continually circulated the latest intelligence available on the developing conditions.138

On 25 May 1920, the TBMM Delegation to Moscow, comprising Bekir Sami (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Yusuf Kemal Bey (Minister of Economy), and three staff members, arrived in Erzurum. On the 27th, Karabekir read the instructions given to this Plenipotentiary Delegation, dated 8 May, and discussed its provisions with the Ministers.139 On 30 May 1920, Karabekir warned TBMM that San Remo Conference140 was bankrupt, therefore armed struggle might become the only available venue to assure independence.141 On 6 June 1920, in the face of approaching Bolshevik armies, TBMM ordered Karabekir to reclaim Elviyei Selasiye (the Ottoman administrative term for the territories lost to tsarists during 1877 and 1914 campaigns), which were restored to the Ottomans by the Brest-Litovsk treaty of 3 March 1918. Mobilization orders went out. On 15 June 1920, the courier officer, Artillery Lieutenant Ibrahim Efendi arrived from Moscow. This Lieutenant had conveyed the first TBMM Declaration to Moscow, now was bringing a letter from the Soviet Foreign Affairs Commissar Chicherin (dated 3 June 1920), addressed to the Chairman of TBMM. Upon reading the letter, Karabekir concluded that Bolsheviks, too, wanted to detach land from the TBMM. There were also letters from Doctor Fuat Sabit Bey (now signing as the Representative of the Baku Turk Communist Party), Bahaddin Sakir Bey, Ahmet Cemal Pasha142 and Halil Pasha, who were all in Moscow.143 On 23 June 1920 Karabekir wrote to the Red Army Commander in Baku, asking for facilitation of safe passage of the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation.144

According to orders of TBMM, Karabekir's XV. Army Corps began the re-possession maneuvers. Immediately afterwards, a series of elliptical cables from Ankara told Karabekir to pause and consider the Bolshevik proposal of establishing a "Caucasus Federation." On 27 June 1920 the TBMM Delegation left Erzurum for Moscow. Next day, another courier was sent from Trabzon to Moscow, via Tuapse. Destitute refugees began streaming into TBMM territories from the East, fleeing the Bolsheviks of all types while the XV. Army Corps reconnaissance patrols come under fire. During the night of 9/10 July, the TBMM Delegation finally left TBMM territories aboard a motorboat, from Trabzon to Tuapse. They sent their first wireless message from Moscow informing Karabekir of their arrival on the 19th, by a special train sent to collect them from Tuapse, which they boarded on the 12th.145 On 5 July 1920 Rawlinson volunteered to be exchanged for the detainees in Malta. Karabekir passed the message on to Ankara, and the proposal was eventually carried out. It is interesting that Rawlinson, under house arrest and surveillance, knew of the developments in Istanbul.146

Karabekir notes that earlier he had sent a delegation led by the Commander of the 12th Infantry Division, Lt. Col. Resat Bey, to contact the Red Army. Information pertaining to the troop movements of the Red Army being deployed in Nakchevan now began arriving. This news was disturbing to the civil population in Erzurum, who had no particular affinity toward the Bolsheviks. Karabekir had to assure the local civilian leadership that TBMM had no intention of becoming Bolshevik, but had to establish contact with them and even seek their material help. The officers thus sent from the XV. Army Corps removed their Ottoman style gold braid epaulets, sensitive to the hostility of the Bolshevik side to such decorations. Karabekir immediately redesigned the entire slate of rank insignia for the XV. Army Corps, to prevent both Bolshevik contamination and confusion with the old Ottoman army, and informed Ankara.

On 27 July 1920, two officers arrived from Northern Caucasus and provided a report.147 Despite the written guarantees given to the Northern Caucasus populations by the Bolsheviks, those promises were not being kept. On 2 August 1920, Prefect of Zor, comrade Salih Zeki (in the company of comrade Nureddin) visited Karabekir at his field Headquarters. The two comrades made a case for a Bolshevik TBMM, asserted the existence of Bolshevik organizations in Asia Minor. They planned to visit Ankara to argue their position. Despite Karabekir's best efforts, Bolshevik propaganda was taking root, even in Erzurum, which centered around the proposed establishment of various "peoples governments."148 On 3 August, Karabekir issued an order to his officers, forbidding low level contacts with the Baku Turkish Communist Party officials. On the 4th, Karabekir circulated a more comprehensive declaration to his entire command, with detailed information on the political and military conditions. Mustafa Subhi asked and obtained permission to visit TBMM in Ankara.149
On 5 August 1920, a telephone message arrived from Halil Pasha, indicating the shipment from Moscow to Ankara of 500kg of gold in six crates, a complete wireless telegraph station capable of instituting direct communications between Moscow and Ankara. In addition, two "Muslim Staff Officers" of the Red Army and the First Secretary of the Bolshevik Embassy to Ankara were accompanying Halil Pasha. Signing as "Comrade Halil," he further indicated the planned shipment of munitions. On 7 August, General Staff of the Red Army provided order of battle information to Karabekir. "Comrade Halil" supplied political intelligence on 8 August, the contents of which were passed on to TBMM.150

Karabekir notes that a delegation was requested from his region, to attend the Bolshevik Congress in Baku.151 Karabekir added two of his officers to the group, to observe the conditions. Some of the participating civilians were apprehensive. Karabekir lectured the delegation, assuring them the TBMM leadership intention was not to adoption of Bolshevism, however it had to be taken into account and studied. Thus it was their duty to learn, not to be caught unawares. Another cypher from "Comrade Halil" indicated a larger sum of gold was scheduled to arrive in the company of the Bolshevik Ambassador. There was also another letter from Cemal Pasha to Mustafa Kemal.152 On 15 August 1920, another courier officer, Lieutenant Serif Efendi, arrived from Baku. He had had interviews with the 11th Red Army Commander Levandovksi on 9 July 1920, Ordjonikidze on 17 July 1920, the Azerbaijan War Commissar Ali Haydar Karayev, Head of the Turkish Social Democrat Organization [sic] Mustafa Subhi, and Turkistan Deputy Minister of War, Emirhanov.

On 27 August 1920, the Embassy of the Soviet government arrived in Karakose, in the company of Halil Pasha.153 On 3 September 1920. TBMM Chief of Staff Ismet Bey informed the XV. Army Corps that TBMM was considering a move to Sivas due to the Western Front [i. e. Greek Armies] moving closer East and its anticipated effects on Ankara. Karabekir disagreed, regarding such a move as a display of weakness.154 On the same day, another cable from TBMM General Staff, signed by Ismet Bey stated "The arriving Russian delegation exhibits the signs of an intelligence and administrative control organ charged with the duty of organizing the country for revolution, rather than a Diplomatic Embassy. It is unacceptable and unexplainable that they have left telegraph equipment and personnel in Bayazit....The English and Germans had acted similarly, established direct and independent communication links [with their superiors] upon setting foot in our country....It is apparent from the 2 September 1920 decision of the Heyeti Vekile (Executive Committee, or, the Cabinet of the TBMM) there is a movement to effect a communist revolution, enslave and turn the country over to the Bolshevik objectives...."155

On the same day another courier officer [Kamil Efendi] arrived from Moscow. He reported having been thoroughly examined in Tuapse by the Russians, the nature of whose questions betrayed the intentions and thoughts of his interrogators. This officer's cyphers [implied to be sent from Tuapse] required four days to reach the TBMM Plenipotentiary in Moscow. He was later confronted by an individual named Mustafa Nafi, who earlier held privileges in Istanbul,156 claiming to be a true communist, "unlike Mustafa Subhi." He now carried a map on which the Bolshevik flag was depicted over Istanbul, and expressed his wish to plant the communist flag on St. Sophia personally. He further asserted he was a Turkish language instructor at the Red Army Communist Staff and Command School. Kamil Efendi observed the presence in Moscow literally hundreds of individuals claiming to represent "Turkiye." The courier officer also learned that the guards posted in front of the building to which the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation was assigned were ordered not to reveal anyone the identities or affiliations of the individuals staying in the building. No one was to see the TBMM Delegation except by special permit. Enver Pasha arrived in Moscow, held talks with Lenin, and Lt. Kamil Efendi secured an audience with Enver Pasha [who also met with the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation in Moscow], who spoke at length of saving the "country." Kamil Efendi's final comments pertained to the extreme scarcity of food in Moscow, and the meagerness of the rations provided even to the Plenipotentiary Delegation, which consisted of a loaf of bread, tea, "cabbage soup" and corn gruel.157

After reading this report, Karabekir wrote a letter to Enver Pasha and sent it via a courier officer, reminding him of their earlier friendship, asking him to refrain from adventurism under any guise.158 Karabekir adds a personal observation: "Every individual, especially those holding responsible positions, ought to consider the nature and origin of all ideas prior to acting on them. Otherwise they should know they will cause harm to their nations."159

On 7 September 1920 the Bolshevik Embassy Delegation was invited to the plays staged by the War Orphans cared for by the XV. Army Corps. Among the Delegation members were the First Secretary Opmal and the Military Attache Bakirof, who is reported by Karabekir to be a Turk. Opmal asserted the need for the Turkish Communist Party to act openly and freely to convince Moscow that TBMM is actively anti- imperialist. By means of examples, Opmal painted a picture of government-owned means of production and command economy. Simultaneously, Bolshevik propaganda began its assault on the XV. Army Corps personnel.160 Next day, the shipment of gold arriving from Moscow reached Erzurum, where 200kg of which was retained by the XV. Army Corps. The remainder was forwarded to Ankara.

On 20 September 1920, Mustafa Kemal instructed Karabekir to establish contact with the Georgians, and begin reclaiming the territories lost to the Russians during 1877 and again in 1914. Having prepared for the occasion previously, Karabekir moved his headquarters out of Erzurum. Domestic intrigues once again required immediate attention, in this instance, in Erzurum itself. Karabekir had to rush back and investigate. This time it proved to be an easily soluble problem. After a series of personnel reassignments, Karabekir invited the 3rd Division (Trabzon) Commander Col. Rst Bey to become the Acting Commander, XV. Army Corps, while he himself was Commanding the Eastern Front. Karabekir asked Col. Rst Bey to transport the one million gold rubles brought from Moscow by Lieutenant Ibrahim Efendi, from Trabzon to Erzurum. On 7 October, Karabekir returned to his field headquarters at the front. On 30 October, Karabekir entered Kars and found there an officer reporting to Admiral Bristol.161 On 3 November 1920 the Bolshevik Plenipotentiary [a Georgian, later Ambassador to TBMM] Mdivani162, indicating he has received a cable from the Commissar of Foreign Affairs, asked Karabekir whether the Mutual Friendship Treaty arrived, and when the Bolshevik side could expect a TBMM Delegation. In response, Karabekir cabled that Treaty had been received. Yusuf Kemal Bey had returned to Ankara and information on the Delegation would be forwarded. On 21 November 1920 TBMM Acting Foreign Minister Ahmet Muhtar163 wrote to Karabekir, asking him to establish contact with the TBMM Plenipotentiary Bekir Sami Bey in Moscow to determine if Bekir Sami was in receipt of the telegrams sent from Ankara. On 16 November [sic], Bekir Sami Bey arrived in Kars from Baku.164 Four days later General Ali Fuat and Staff Officer Major Saffet Bey reached Kars. They were appointed by TBMM Ambassador and Military Attache, respectively, to Moscow.165

On 11 December, the Turkish communists Mustafa Subhi and Ethem Nejat paid a visit to Karabekir. They outlined their plan to travel to Ankara with their retinue, via Tbilisi [sic], because they feared a plot against their lives in Erzurum [sic]. Karabekir suggested they journey via Erzurum to Ankara, because gossip to the effect they were going to conduct Bolshevik propaganda had begun. They agreed and left altogether. They did not arrive at their proposed destination.166

On 16 December, the TBMM Embassy Delegation left for Moscow167 by train via Kars, Tbilisi and Baku, after conferring with Karabekir on the 15th.168 On 22 December 1920, Mdivani, the Bolshevik Ambassador left by train for Ankara via Erzurum. Karabekir observed that, during his 24 days in Kars, Mdivani worked to establish secret Bolshevik organizations in the vicinity, including and especially in the Malakite villages, and managed the affairs of the Mustafa Subhi group.

On 2 February 1921, Mrs. Hertz, working in an American Relief institution in Kars, visited Karabekir.169 She reported that Admiral Bristol had requested, by letter, she learn the actual conditions on the ground from an authoritative source. Mrs. Hertz asked Karabekir if he could relay her letter to Admiral Bristol. Karabekir agreed, but personally censored the information pertaining to his own troop strength (by way of cutting the component Division identification numbers of the XV. Army Corps out of the letter handed him unsealed).170 On 16 February, TBMM Tbilisi Representative Kazim Bey sent a long cypher to Karabekir concerning the fighting between the Georgians, Armenians and Russians, while the Georgian General Staff informed Karabekir of their own conditions and plans. Karabekir observed that this still was the continuation of earlier Bolshevik efforts to draw the XV. Army Corps to the East, and have the TBMM participate in a "Caucasian Confederation." The primary aim of the related invitation was to involve the TBMM forces under Karabekir's command in the ongoing fighting, to cause attrition, to reduce its fighting capacity and morale. That, in turn, the Bolsheviks hoped, would make the TBMM leadership more malleable to the Bolshevik demands.171 The "lure" used by the Bolsheviks, of course, was that TBMM was going to "acquire more land." Perhaps the Bolsheviks chose to ignore the "National Pact" drawn at the Erzurum Congress delineating the TBMM National Borders, which did not include Caucasia but stopped at "Elviyei Selasiye."172 It appears that the value of the XV. Corps, as a unit, was even higher by simply remaining stationary. However, the officers and the Staff of the XV. Corps were by no means idle. Karabekir warned the appropriate authorities in Karakilise and Yerevan that he wished to receive reports directly from his Liaison Officers, Tevfik Efendi and Captain Bahattin Efendi, respectively.173 The reports arrived.

Three Liaison Officers from the Red Army arrived in Karabekir's headquarters on 1 March 1921, "bringing the regards of the Red Army to the XV. Army Corps." On 9 March, Karabekir received an urgent order from Ankara to occupy Batum and environs. The same day, Keker, the Red Army Commander in Tbilisi, sent his congratulations to Karabekir on the occasion! It appeared that the TBMM Foreign Ministry and the General Staff had not coordinated their actions, leaving Karabekir to sort out the tangled affairs related to the occupation of Batum by TBMM troops. A long cyphered cable flowed from Karabekir to the General Staff.174 With the Menshevik Georgians leaving Batum, the Mdivani brothers' era in Ankara came to an end. On 18 March 1921, Orjonikidze wrote to Karabekir, asking him to evacuate Batum. Two days later the TBMM Delegation in Moscow sent a cypher announcing the signing of the Friendship Treaty. Karabekir ordered his troops be withdrawn from Batum. The border between the TBMM and the Bolsheviks was taking shape.

On 21 March 1921, a letter from Col. Ibrahim Tali [during the First World War, Commander of Karabekir's Medical units] arrived.175 On 27 March 1921, TBMM ratified the Moscow Treaty.176 The TBMM designation as an appellation was taking a firm hold.

Keker, Commander of the 11th Red Army in Caucasus, requested a meeting with Karabekir. They agreed to meet in Gmr. Keker turned out to be 34 years of age, Russian, nervous, and a chain smoker. He was in the continuous and ever present company of two Commissars, a Russian and a Georgian. Karabekir notes that Keker was especially resentful of the Russian Commissar. Keker also insistently requested that Karabekir evacuate Gmr, not always successfully veiling his implied threats.177 Karabekir agreed to contact Ankara for permission. Before a response was received from Ankara, Keker cabled, using crass language, setting deadlines. Karabekir was also aware of Chicherin's harsh words to the TBMM Ambassador Ali Fuat [Cebesoy]. Furthermore, on 21 April 1921 Bolsheviks forcibly entered the TBMM Embassy facilities in Moscow, ransacking office files, beating embassy personnel.178 Therefore, Karabekir ordered his units to go on alert. Finally, TBMM ordered Karabekir to evacuate the region in one week. Karabekir informed Keker, relaying his regrets for Keker's foul words. On 29 April 1921, Yusuf Kemal Bey, a member of the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation arrived in Kars from Moscow, in the company of four million gold rubles, on his way to Ankara.

Karabekir began to redirect his attention to the detention of spies and provocateurs in his territory. Once again refugees began to pour into TBMM lands, this time from Armenia, where fighting between various factions of Armenians, Georgians and Russians was continuing. Bolshevik propaganda was also reaching a crescendo. The Ankara government established a new department to enlighten the population and counter Bolshevik efforts. Enver and other CUP leaders were also beginning to make plans to return and play a role in the TBMM movement. Dr. Riza Nur179 sent voluminous reports and analyses on the political conditions, with which Karabekir disagreed on the basis of his own intelligence information.180 A copy of the Bolshevik Ambassador Mdivani's briefing to the Revkom (Revolutionary Committee) also arrived. Karabekir did not place much import on this text, skeptical of its authenticity since it was purchased from the Menshevik Georgians by Hsamettin Bey, the TBMM Tbilisi Representative. Nonetheless he recorded the text, in which Mdivani suggested "...dictating Bolshevik objectives to the peoples of the East via the control of the TBMM mechanism....therefore no sacrifice is too great on the part of Moscow to realize this plan..."181

Conditions in the Eastern territories of the TBMM were gradually being transformed from war-time military operations into peace-time politics. New Societies of all types were being organized daily. Karabekir hinted at his desire to become the Civilian Governor General of the territory, devastated in terms of economics and infrastructure, to continue to serve in the region which he came to love. TBMM was reluctant, at least silent on the matter. Fighting on the Western Front was reaching a climax. Karabekir began transferring munitions and troops to the Western Front, wher they were to play crucial role in later fighting.

On 20 September 1921, a Bolshevik Delegation brought the ratified Moscow [friendship] Treaty to Kars, which was greeted with military honors. The ratified TBMM copy was also at hand, having been sent from Ankara. On 22 September, copies were exchanged with due ceremonies. Now, the Ankara government directed Karabekir to sign the Kars Treaty as the Lead TBMM Plenipotentiary. On 26 September 1921 the Bolshevik Plenipotentiary Delegation charged to participate in the Kars Treaty arrived. The work of the Conference lasted until 10 October 1921 when the Kars Treaty was signed. Recovery of the lands lost to tsarists in 1877 and 1914 was completed by Karabekir and the TBMM-Bolshevik border formally recognized.182 The Turkish War of Independence formally continued until the ratification of the Lausanne Treaty. The British troops, the last of the occupying forces, saluted the Turkish flag and evacuated Istanbul on 2 October 1923.


The Russians seemed content with the Kars Treaty and the related arrangements until the Second World War. The day after the 1945 San Francisco Treaty was signed by some fifty states (the founding document for the United Nations),183 including the Turkish Republic and the USSR, the USSR demanded land from the Turkish Republic, precisely in the same region covered by the Kars Treaty.184 The Soviet demands finally prompted the Truman Doctrine, a military aid program to the Turkish Republic and Greece proposed to the U. S. Congress on 12 March 1947. Military Aid and Cooperation agreement between the Turkish Republic and the U. S. was ratified by the Ankara government on 1 September 1947, which is still in force as amended --apart from a multitude of additional secret protocols over time-- but suspended for a period beginning in 1975 over the dispute regarding joint treaty obligations concerning Cyprus. Turkish Republic was also a beneficiary of the Marshall Plan. When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died at the age of 57 during 1938, Ismet Inonu became the Turkish President.185

The full rapprochement of the Turkish Republic with the British, French and the Italians came with the onset of the Second World War, when the Allies sought to involve the Turkish Republic against Germany. Inonu kept the Turkish Republic out of the World War186 and remained in office until his Republican People's Party (CHP) was voted out in 1950.

As a Charter Member of the U. N., the Turkish Republic sent troops to join the U. N. Command in Korea from June 1950 and her admission into NATO followed on 18 February 1952. Turkish membership in the U. S. led CENTO and RCD treaties rounded out the political and strategic agreements in the region, in line with the U. S. "Containment Policy" aimed at the Soviet Union. Ismet Inonu was the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, to whom President Johnson wrote his Letter of 5 June 1964, related to the Cyprus issue.187 That event was also a turning point in the Turkish Republic and USSR economic and diplomatic relations. Accounts of the circumstances encompassing the terrorism waves in the Turkish Republic during the 1970s, its external origins, sources and economic implications, began to emerge on the heels of the 1980 military coup, the third in as many decades.188


Author's Note: An earlier version was read to the conference on Soviet And American Relations with Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan: Advances and Setbacks, during 1990, organized by the Middle East Studies Center, at Ohio State University. Thanks go to Alam Payind, Stephen Dale, Jefferey Roberts.

1. Epigraph. Kazim Karabekir, Istiklal Harbimiz. (Istanbul, 1960).

2. For a broader treatment of the topic, and sources, see H. B. Paksoy, "'Basmachi:' The Turkistan National Liberation Movement," Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and Soviet Union (Academic Press, 1992). Vol. 5.

3. According to the generally accepted chronology, the Turkish War of Independence began on 19 May 1919, when Mustafa Kemal, as the Inspector General of the 9th Army, disembarked at Samsun. Approximately a month earlier, General Kazim Karabekir had already assumed the Command of the XV. Corps in Erzurum. Prior to leaving Istanbul, Karabekir notes, he had called on Mustafa Kemal and outlined his own plan for the forthcoming Independence Struggle. According to his account, Karabekir invited Mustafa Kemal to join him in Erzurum at that meeting.

4. Which the British worked earlier so hard to keep intact, as a buffer between the tsarist empire and the Middle East.

5. The TBMM (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi) formally convened for the first time on 23 April 1920, in Ankara, following the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses. See Kazim Ozturk, Ataturk'n TBMM Aik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari (Ankara, 1981). Though a portion of the events referenced in this paper predate that official mark (from April-May 1919), the TBMM designation is utilized throughout to encompass efforts and personnel which were integral to the movement. In keeping with the terminology utilized by the sources, I also made use of "Representative Council" ("Heyeti Vekiliye," roots of which are in the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses) and "Nationalists," ("Kuvai Milliye," and various "Mudafaai Hukuk Cemiyetleri") interchangeably.

Even on 27 August 1920, when Karabekir himself cautioned Ankara (including Mustafa Kemal) on this matter, that no official appellation was yet adopted by the movement. Consequently, the government in Ankara was being called, inter alia, the "Ottoman Government" by foreign powers. See Karabekir, 863. Turkish Republic was announced on 29 October 1923, new Constitution enacted during 1924.

6. Karabekir's references to his own past are limited to his official correspondence and actions, avoiding virtually any mention of his private life. It is possible that Karabekir kept a personal journal. For glimpses of his private life, see the introduction by Tahsin Demiray to Karabekir's Istiklal Harbimiz (Istanbul, 1960). Also, to the anonymous introduction to Karabekir's Dogunun Kurtulusu (Erzurum: Erzurum Ticaret ve Sanayi Odasi Arastirma, Gelistirme ve Yardimlasma Vakfi Yayinlari, 1990). N. kse, Turk Istiklal Harbi'ne Katilan Tumen ve Daha Ust Kademelerdeki Komutanlarin Biyografileri (Ankara, 1989) was unavailable to me at this writing.

7. See H. N. Howard, The King-Crane Commission. (Beirut, 1963).

8. At the time, Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol was the Senior US Naval Officer at Istanbul, later becoming the US High Commissioner. A hospital named after him is still operational in Istanbul.

9. See Major General James G. Harbord (USA), Report Dated 16 October 1919, in American Association for International Conciliation. No. 151, (June 1920). Pp. 275-302.

10. Army Corps were generally composed of three Divisions. The XV. Army Corps (Erzurum) contained four (for a total of approximately 18,000 men), possibly because the Division in Trabzon was separated from its original command structure due to war conditions, attached, ad interim, to the XV. Corps, and remained a component for the duration. Related events are recounted in Fevzi akmak's memoirs, who commanded Armies in the region during the First World War. Fevzi Pasha was Minister of War in Istanbul prior to the Allied occupation, joined the TBMM during late April 1920.

11. Throughout this period, the calendar in use was "Mali," the "day of year" portion of which had been officially ajdusted on 1 March 1917 to coincide with the Gregorian style by the Istanbul Government. The TBMM Government completed the transition by additional measures in 1925 and 1935, such as the division of the day into standard 24 hours (as opposed to the practice of timing by local solar time) and moving the holiday to Sunday. The names of the months were changed to Turkish during 1945.

Since the sources generally do not mention the basic form (Mali or Gregorian) of their chronology, and on occasion provide an "hybrid" form of "dating" (which may have been instituted by later date publishers) I converted only the year portions of cited dates into Gregorian style for convenience. For the desired degree of conversion precision, concerning specific dates, see F. R. Unat, Hicri Tarihleri Miladi Tarihe evirme Kilavuzu (Ankara, 1974).

12. This paper pursues the topic from the least studies set of sources, the TBMM perspective. Given the number of political entities involved in the events, a complete bibliography on the topic would not only fill a volume, but would have to encompass entries in a dozen or more languages. However, there are numerous works on specific subjects. Therefore, what follows is a set of references covering the principal outline of the subject matter (excluding most of the works cited in the footnotes to this paper), majority of which contain very useful bibliographies themselves.

Treaty texts concerning this era may be found in the archives and published documents of the U. S. Department of State, for example Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States for the years 1919, 1920, 1921. The French copies are generally available in the Documents diplomatiques series. British documents are probably the most extensive, spread throughout governmental departments, inter alia, HMSO, FO, Command, Cabinet Papers series for the indicated period. Turkish documents are the latest additions to the list. See [issuing body] Genelkurmay Baskanligi, Harp Tarihi Dairesi Turk Istiklal Harbi (6 Vols.) (Ankara, 1962- 1968). Previously [Issuing Body] Erkaniharbiye-i Umumiye Harp Tarihi Klliyati (series) Cihan Harbinde Osmanli Harekati Tarihesi (1922) was printed. All must be utilized with the assumption that these are documents of the "results" and not necessarily the "process" by which they were attained. Moreover, not all documents may have been included in the collections, due to various considerations. See also J. C. Hurewitz, Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East. A Documentary Record. (NY, 1956). (Two Vols.); Mahmut Gologlu, Milli Mcadele Tarihi, 5 Vols., (Ankara, 1968- 1971); Y. H. Bayur, Turk Inkilabi Tarihi (Ankara, 1940-1967) Three Vols.; A. B. Kuran, Inkilap Tarihimiz ve Jon Turkler (Istanbul, 1945).

E. E. Adamov's (Ed.) Razdel Aziatskoi Turstsii [Partition of Asiatic Turkey]. (Moscow, 1924) is based on the papers of the tsarist Foreign Ministry, when the Bolsheviks were eager to be seen as completely breaking with the tsarist mold. This work was translated into Turkish by Staff Officer Lt. Col. Babaeskili Hseyin Rahmi in Amiens- France and published as Anadolunun Taksim Plani (Istanbul, 1926). A Second Edition was made (Istanbul, 1972). George S. Harris' The Origins of Communism in Turkey (Stanford, 1967) places the topic into perspective.

Kazim Karabekir's output, though critical to the understanding of many a development, has been least studied. See especially his Istiklal Harbimiz Vol. I, (Istanbul, 1960) First Edition, 1171 Pp. Published posthumously (Karabekir died in 1948), the volume was written by Karabekir during his forced retirement between 1928-1938, based on copies of his official and private correspondence and field diaries. The publisher of Karabekir's Istiklal Harbimizin Esaslari (Istanbul, 1933-1951) inserted a note to the 1951 edition explaining that the complete stock of this book's 1933 edition was confiscated and burnt the same year, by persons named therein, ostensibly working for political office holders of the day. After reading the volume, one may surmise the reason. Further comments on the subject is found in Erik Jan Zrcher, "Young Turk Memoirs as a Historical Source: Kazim Karabekir's Istiklal Harbimiz" Middle Eastern Studies Vol. 22, No. 4, October 1986.

As a cohort and colleague in Istanbul, Karabekir was in a position to know Enver (1881-1922) first hand, and he collected his observations in Istiklal Harbinde Enver Pasa (Istanbul, 1967). As Director of the Intelligence Branch of the Ottoman General Staff, Karabekir knew, better than anyone, the mechanism by which the Ottoman empire was drawn into the First World War, and recorded his observations in Cihan Harbine Neden Girdik, Nasil Girdik, Nasil Idare Ettik (Istanbul, 1937). Though immensely useful, all are rather difficult to use.

Karabekir wrote approximately three dozen volumes in his life, some two dozen of them were apparently printed to date. Among those, there are educational plays for children, military training manuals, at least two songbooks (also for school children) for which he also wrote the music, works on strategy and tactics, diplomatic histories, and intelligence methods. Not all are available to us. He notes that one of the books he wrote, gtlerim was issued four thousand copies in Erzurum (1920) and distributed to all of the war orphans being cared for by the XV. Army Corps. The Azerbaijan leadership requested a copy (probably during 1920), and had four thousand copies printed in Baku and distributed to children there. Karabekir's gtlerim was reprinted, combined with his ocuk Davamiz (Istanbul, 1990)

This paper makes extensive use of Karabekir's records, as they exhibit the nature of an archive, containing copies of actual documents, as opposed to an analytical history treatise.

Other commanders of the Turkish War of Independence, for example, Ali Fuat Cebesoy [for a time, Commander of the Western Front, later the First Ambassador to Moscow], published their memoirs. See his Milli Mcadele Hatiralari. (Istanbul, 1953); idem, General Ali Fuat Cebesoy'un Siyasi Hatiralari. (2 Vols.) (Istanbul, 1957-1960). Another such Officer was Fevzi akmak. He preferred to lecture the trainee Staff Officers: Byk Harpte Sark Cephesi Hareketleri (Sark Vilayetlerimizde, Kafkasyada ve Iranda) (1935 de Akademi'de verilen Konferanslar) (Ankara, 1936). The memoirs of several other key commanders were serialized in the daily newspapers of the Turkish Republic during the 1950s and 1960s, but not all were collected and issued as free standing volumes. Among them are the recollections of one of the TBMM intelligence chiefs in Istanbul --The Nationalist Movement appears to had at least three separate and distinct intelligence networks operating in Istanbul throughout the occupation period. TBMM also employed what might perhaps be identified as the last successful regular cavalry army in history. See Fahrettin Altay, Milli Mcadele Hatiralari (Istanbul, 1958); idem, 10 Yil Savas 1912-1922 ve Sonrasi (Istanbul, 1970). A related work is by Abdurrahman zgen, Milli Mcadele'de Turk Akincilari (Ankara, n.d.).

Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] made his memoirs public, in his Nutuk, (3 Vols.) (Ankara, 1960-1961) which was delivered as a six-day long speech to the nation. It was translated from the 1927 original, under the title A Speech Delivered by Ghazi Mustapha Kemal, President of the Turkish Republic, October 1927 (Leipzig, 1929). Ataturk'n Milli Dis Politikasi (Cumhuriyet Dnemine ait 100 Belge, 1923-1938) (Ankara, 1981) provides copies of relevant documents not included in the Nutuk. Ataturk'n TBMM Acik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari (Kazim Ozturk, Ed.) (Ankara, 1981) supplies a perspective on some debates not recorded elsewhere. Reportedly, this last work went out of print in record time, sparking speculation that descendents of a number of individuals cited by Ataturk in those speeches wished to remove the volume out of circulation.

Enver Pasha, though he did not participate in the TBMM efforts, and [was] even inimical towards it, nontheless was instrumental in influencing the Bolshevik plans for this period, wrote a partial autobiography which he brought down to 1908. It was translated into German, but apparently not published. The MSS is in the Sterling Library of Yale University. (also noted by Glen Swanson, "Enver Pasha: The Formative Years" Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 16, No. 3, October 1980). Sukru Hanioglu published a group of Enver Pasha's personal letters, originally written in French (also found in the Sterling Library), and their Turkish translations, under the title Kendi Mektuplarinda Enver Pasa (Istanbul, 1989). Masayuki Yamauchi, in The Green Crescent Under the Red Star: Enver Pasha in Soviet Russia 1919-1922 (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1991) [Studia Culturae Islamicae, No. 42], published a portion of the Enver Pasha papers held in the Turkish Historical Society (Ankara) archives. Azade-Ayse Rorlich provides a further view of Enver in her "Fellow Travelers: Enver Pasha and the Bolshevik Government 1918- 1920" in the Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Vol. XIII (Old Series Vol 69), Part III, October 1982. S. S. Aydemir wrote three highly readable biographies, in which he reconstructs the lives and activities of the named: Makedonyadan Orta Asyaya Enver Pasa (3 Vols.) (Istanbul, 1970-1972) [several printings were made], utilizing Enver's autobiography; Tek Adam [Mustafa Kemal]. (3 Vols.) (Istanbul, 1963-1965); and Ikinci Adam [Ismet Inonu] (3 Vols.) (Istanbul, 1966-1969). See also Feridun Kandemir, Enver Pasa'nin Son Gnleri (Istanbul, 1943).

Liman von Sanders was one of the highest ranking German officers who was sent to the Ottoman empire within the context of the German Military Mission for Reform. His observations were translated into English: My Five Years in Turkey. (Annapolis: MD, 1927). Akdes Nimet Kurat (Ed.), Turkiye'de Bulunan Alman Generallerinin Raporlari (Ankara, 1966) provides synopses of other principal German officers' reports.

Other observers include Feridun Kandemir, Istiklal Savasinda Bozguncular ve Casuslar (Istanbul, 1964); and Arif Baytin, Ilk Dnya Harbinde Kafkas Cephesi (Istanbul, 1946).

Turk Kurtulus Savasi Kronolojisi, Mudanya Mtakeresinden 1923 Sonuna Kadar (Ankara, 1974); G. Jaeschke, Kurtulus Savasi ile ilgili Ingiliz Belgeleri (Ankara, 1971) and Bilal N. Simsir, Ingiliz Belgelerinde Ataturk (3 Vols.) (Ankara, 1973) provide the documents and necessary chronology to reconstruct the general timetable and events.

Harry N. Howard's two books, The Partition of Turkey, 1913-1923: A Diplomatic History (Norman, OK, 1931), and The King-Crane Commission (Beirut, 1963); as well as the "King- Crane Report on the Near East, A Suppressed Official Document of the United States Government," Editor and Publisher, LV, No. 27 (December 2, 1922), i-xxvii, along with Major General James G. Harbord (USA) Report Dated 16 October 1919, in American Association for International Conciliation. No. 151, (June 1920). Pp. 275-302, fill many a gap.

For general background reading, see: Ahmed Emin [Yalman], The Development of Modern Turkey as Measured by Its Press (New York, 1914); idem, Turkey in World War (New Haven, 1931); Halide Edib [Adivar] The Turkish Ordeal (NY, 1928); Uriel Heyd, Foundations of Turkish Nationalism: The Life and Teachings of Ziya Gokalp (London, 1950); L. V. Thomas and R. N. Frye, The United States and Turkey and Iran (Cambridge, MA, 1951); F. Kazemzadeh, The Struggle for Transcaucasia 1917-1921 (NY, 1951); T. Z. Tunaya Turkiyede Siyasi Partiler, 1859-1952 (Istanbul, 1952); Serif Mardin, Jon Turklerin Siyasi Fikirleri, 1895-1908 (Ankara, 1964); E. E. Ramsaur, The Young Turks (Beirut, 1965); G. L. Lewis, Turkey (London, 1965); idem, Modern Turkey (London, 1974); Feroz Ahmad, The Young Turks: The Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics, 1908-1914 (Oxford, 1969); Sina Aksin, 31 Mart Olayi (Ankara, 1970); M. Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, 1914-1916. (Boston, 1971); B. Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford, 1976); S. J. Shaw & E. K. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge, 1977); Lord Kinross, Ataturk (New York, 1978); Alvin Z. Rubinstein, Soviet Policy Towards Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan: The Dynamics of Influence (New York, 1982); M. Skr Hanioglu, Bir Siyasal Orgut olarak 'Osmanli Ittihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti' ve 'Jon Turkluk' 1889-1902 (Vol I) (Istanbul, 1985); Sevket Pamuk, The Ottoman Empire and European Capitalism, 1820-1913: Trade, Investment and Production (Cambridge University Press, 1987); Resat Kasaba, The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The Nineteenth Century (State University of New York Press, 1988); Bruce Masters, The Origins od Western Economic Dominance in the Middle East: Mercantilism and the Islamic Economy in Aleppo, 1600-1750 (New York University Press, 1988); Daniel Goffman, Izmir and the Levantine World 1550-1650 (Seattle, 1990); Selim Deringil, Turkish Foreign Policy during the Second World War: An "Active Neutrality" (Cambridge University Press, 1989); Masami Arai, Turkish Nationalism in the Young Turk Era (Leiden, 1991).

13. Inter alia, see Nur Bilge Criss, "Istanbul During Allied Occupation, 1918-1923." PhD dissertation, The George Washington University, 1990.

14. See for example, the Joint Note of the Allied Governments in answer to President Wilson, The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks written by Arnold J. Toynbee (Hodder & Stoughton, 1917). Toynbee was a member of the British Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference. He later "toned down" his "arguments," though his leanings are still thinly veiled. See Arnold J. Toynbee and Kenneth P. Kirkwood, Turkey (Charles Scribners, 1927). Felix Valyi's Turk's Last Stand: The Historical Tragedy on the Bosphorus (London, 1913) was originally delivered as a lecture at the University of London, and translated into English, reflects the prevailing French position and disagreements between the Allies even before the war.

15. See Howard, The King-Crane Commission, 269. Note 1.

16. Letter from U. S. Ambassador Davis to British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, May 12, 1920. Documents on the Middle East, Ralph H. Magnus (Ed.) (American Enterprise Institute, 1969), 37. Curzon was one of the "Players" of the "Great Game in Asia."

17. These were following the pattern of the Mudros Armistice of October 1918. See also Ali Turkgeldi, Moudros ve Mudanya Mtarekelerinin Tarihi (Ankara, 1948).

18. See cable in Karabekir, 513. As late as 5 March 1920, "the American Representative in Istanbul" (identity of whom is not disclosed, but probably is Admiral Bristol) was stressing to Rauf Bey [Orbay], former Minister of Navy of the Ottoman Empire, that the U. S. did not recognize Britain's occupation of the Middle East.

19. The U. S. Senate used George Washington's argument against "foreign entanglements" to decline ratification both the League of Nations and the Lausanne Treaties.

20. Howard, 308. A note on the names appearing within square brackets []: Soyadi Kanunu (The Family Name Law) was adopted by the TBMM on 21 June 1934, which concurrently conferred upon Mustafa Kemal the family name of "Ataturk" and prohibited the use of that last name by any other individual. In turn, Ataturk suggested surnames for his close associates, such as "Inonu" for Ismet Bey, to honor a significant battle the latter won at a geographic location by that designation against the invading Greek forces in Western Asia Minor. See Stanford J. & Ezel Kural Shaw, History of Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 1808-1975 (Cambridge, 1977). (Two Vols.) 355- 6. Kazim Karabekir had officially adopted his surname earlier, on 15 April 1911. There was another Kazim Bey in the XV. Army Corps under Karabekir's Command, who was eventually assigned to be the Acting Commander of the same XV. Army Corps during 1920 for a short duration when Karabekir assumed the Command of the Eastern Command. Karabekir noted on page 884 of Istiklal Harbimiz that this Kazim Bey, a colonel, later adopted "Dirik" as his surname, dispelling the notion of Karabekir himself being present in two different locations simultaneously. Another confusion involves "Vasif Bey," appearing in this paper. There were probably two, the first was working for the American Mandate, and the other handled papers related to Bolshevism.

21. Karabekir, 59, 118, 358.

22. This Society was similar to those already extant at the time in Egypt, India, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The French also had their Alliance Franais, akin to those found in Algeria, South East Asia and Oxford.

According to a cable dated 20 September 1919, the Ingiliz Muhipler Cemiyeti in Istanbul was engaged in inducting new members in the company of police officers, with their committees canvassing the population door-to- door.

The Declaration and Program of the "Ingiliz Muhipleri Cemiyeti" is in Karabekir, 156-157. See also Fethi Tevetoglu, Milli Mucadele Yillarindaki Kuruluslar: Karakol Cemiyeti, Turkiye'de Ingiliz Muhibleri Cemiyeti, Wilson Prensipleri Cemiyeti, Yesilordu Cemiyeti (Ankara, 1988).

23. Rawlinson, a British army Lt. Colonel, was a Control Officer in charge of disarming the Ottoman army in Eastern Asia Minor according to the post-war treaties, especially Sevres. There were probably a dozen such officers posted around Asia Minor. Karabekir thought Rawlinson was given other duties as well. He proved to be correct. Like his predecessors and cohorts, Rawlinson published his memoirs, where he elliptically mentions his special duties and the secret verbal orders he received. See Alfred Rawlinson, Adventures in the Middle East. (London, 1923).

24. Karabekir notes: "The Russian Colonel was brought by Rawlinson to look for arms and munitions for the Denikin army. Rawlinson stated that the Whites were British allies, but this Colonel began engaging in Bolshevik propaganda [sic, perhaps the colonel had concealed his allegiances] wherever he went in my territory. I protested, Rawlinson apologized and the Russian Colonel was deported." Rawlinson mentions the Russian Colonel, but likewise does not identify him by name.

25. Karabekir, 63. However, Rawlinson identifies this naval lieutenant as Dunn, of the US Navy Intelligence.

26. A French Colonel also arrived in Erzurum on 2 July 1919. Karabekir, 66.

27. Richard Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917-1921; Intervention and the War (Princeton, 1961).

28. On numerous occasions Karabekir provides details, including the fact that he issued "shoot to kill" orders. He so informed the British and the Bolsheviks.

29. President Wilson returned to France on 5 March 1919. He again departed for the U. S. on 30 june 1919.

30. The King-Crane Commission departed Istanbul for Paris on board USS Dupont 21 August 1919, made its report on 28 August 1919. For a segment of the report, see Documents on the Middle East, 28-37. A more comprehensive coverage is provided in Howard.

31. Karabekir, 118-119.

32. Held at the instigation, organization and insistence of Karabekir. Its communique contained ten articles. Text is in Karabekir, 106-107. See also Shaw, Pp. 344-346; Mahmut Gologlu, Erzurum Kongresi (Ankara, 1968).

33. Karabekir, 102.

34. Text is in Karabekir, 102-3.

35. Rawlinson notes that he returned to London. He gave reports, including to Lord Curzon.

36. Karabekir does not otherwise identify them, complaining that they had pre-conceived notions of what they wished to find. Karabekir, 108.

37. Sivas Congress was in session 4-11 Sep 1919. Its Declaration is in Karabekir, 216-217. Also, Mahmut Gologlu, Sivas Kongresi (Ankara, 1968); Shaw, Pp. 346-347.

38. Karabekir, 121; Howard, 161-179. Karabekir wished that the American Delegation would speak directly with him, so that he could dissuade the Delegation from pursuing the matter further.

39. Mustafa Kemal was in Amasya, discussing the matter with others. Text of the cable is in Karabekir, 57. Shaw, on P. 344, notes that immediately before the Amasya meeting, Mustafa Kemal met in Havza with a Bolshevik delegation headed by Colonel Semen Budenny, who offered arms and ammunition and urged Bolshevism. Sadi Borak, ykleriyle Ataturk'n Ozel Mektuplari (Istanbul, 1980) Pp. 168-238, contains the 1920 deliberations of TBMM under Mustafa Kemal's Presidency, concerning Bolshevizm.

40. Ismet [Inonu] (1884-1973) later joined the Nationalist movement. He and Karabekir were close friends. Ismet Bey became the TBMM Chief of Staff, then successively Commander of the Western Front, TBMM Representative at Mudanya Armistice 1922. He negotiated the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, served as the first Prime Minister 1923-1924, again during 1925-1937, and as the second President of the Turkish Republic 1938-1950 after Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk]. During 1950-1960 Inonu was the Leader of the Opposition, during which time he made one of his principal contributions to the Turkish society. Shortly before his death, he once again became Prime Minister 1961-1965. See S. S. Aydemir, Ikinci Adam [Ismet Inonu] (Istanbul, 1972). Several reprints are available.

41. Throughout this study, the term "Staff Officer" is employed to designate "erkaniharp" [literally "competent (important for) of war"] used by the original sources. [After the language reforms, replaced by the term "kurmay"]. It is a grade attained by officers completing the higher level "erkaniharp mektebi," the Command and General Staff School [established in the post-Crimean War period], after graduating the "Mektebi Harbiye-i Sahane," the Military Academy. As in the Prussian system, the planning functions of units above the battalion strength were entrusted to officers of this group, because they specialize in every branch possessed by the army. Consequently, a Staff Officer was expected to be able to replace any officer of any other specialty without prior warning, and function just as well. Moreover, after the military reforms of the 19th century, promotion to the ranks of Flag Command was basically open only to them. As a result, a Staff Officer was held in higher regard. Tsarist General Staff had also copied the practice.

42. Field Marshal [Ahmet] Izzet Pasha was a highly respected General for his integrity and abilities, had served in Yemen and the Balkan Wars (1911-1912), with a strong and loyal following among the Officer Corps, especially Staff Officers. Karabekir at one point have served under him. Ismet Bey had also been a member of Izzet Pasha's Staff, and enjoyed his trust and affection. The courier, the Staff Officer in question, wished to also make personal contact with Mustafa Kemal and Rauf Bey [Orbay] in Erzurum. Karabekir, 150. See also S. S. Aydemir, Ikinci Adam. Vol I.

Therefore, this channel made use of the Ismet Bey to reach Karabekir directly. It is not clear if Izzet Pasha was aware how his own declaration was being used; or, for that matter, if he indeed penned the Memorandum. Text is in Karabekir, 170-174.

Not to be confused with [Yusuf] Izzet Pasha. See Borak, Pp. 304-312; Aydemir Ikinci Adam, Vol I, Pp. 142-143.

43. The Staff Officer was Erzincanli Saffet Bey. Karabekir, 150. FN; 169. Karabekir notes that Saffet Bey was sent to Asia Minor, officially on leave, "ostensibly to pursue personal business in Erzincan."

44. The text is in Karabekir, 170-174.

45. Dated 27 August 1919, text following the Izzet Pasha Memorandum.

46. Ismet Bey to Mustafa Kemal, cable, December (no day given), 1919.

47. Mustafa Kemal to Karabekir, cable, 4 December 1919.

48. Ismet Bey to Karabekir, cable, 29 December 1919.

49. Texts in Karabekir, 178-179.

50. Cable from III. Army Corps Chief of Staff Ahmet Zeki to Karabekir on mandate; Karabekir, 144.

51. Ali Fuat [Cebesoy] (1882-1968) later became the Commander of Western Front, first TBMM Ambassador to Moscow, Member of TBMM, Minister of public works. See his memoirs.

52. Cable, 26 August 1919.

53. Ismet Bey even appeared in Ankara on 20 January 1920, presumably to convince Mustafa Kemal, and returned to Istanbul on 11 February 1920. It was after 16 March 1920, when the Allies occupied the Ottoman Representative Assembly (Meclisi Mebusan) in Istanbul, and sent most of its membership to Malta as prisoners, Ismet Bey left Istanbul with difficulty and joined the Nationalist Movement in Ankara.

54. Texts in Karabekir, 180.

55. Karabekir, 181; FN.

56. See Ali Fuat Cebesoy, Sinif Arkadasim Ataturk: Okul ve Genc Subaylik Hatiralari (Istanbul, 1967).

57. The "conduit" was Louis Edgar Browne, the special correspondent of the Chicago Daily News, sent by Crane. Karabekir obtained advance information on this visit, including Browne's proposed itinerary. See Karabekir, 136, 142. Browne also published his views in Daily News mostly during August 1919. Browne's presence was not at all appreciated by the British Foreign Office, neither was his publication of information long regarded not only confidential, but also the sole preserve of the Foreign and Colonial Office. For British Comments, see Howard, 290.

58. Karabekir notes a letter (dated 17 October 1919) he received from Colonel Galatali Sevket Bey providing Admiral Bristol's comments. The tone of the letter suggests that the quotation from Admiral Bristol was obtained personally and privately. See 377.

See also the cable Karabekir received from Rauf [Orbay], former Ottoman Minister of the Navy, dated 5 March 1920, via Ankara, after Rauf Bey personally spoke with "the American Representative in Istanbul" (Admiral Bristol?). Karabekir, 513.

59. See Howard, 271.

60. Mustafa Kemal To Karabekir, cable dated 21 September 1919. Text in Karabekir 225; Also reported by Howard, 273.

61. Karabekir, 224-300 contains cables, analysis and details.

62. Text in Karabekir, 305-314, followed by addenda, 314- 318. It appears that this report was published separately by Karabekir, in Erzurum, probably in the same year. Harbord's report was also printed, probably in condensed form: Major General James G. Harbord (USA) Report Dated 16 October 1919, in American Association for International Conciliation. No. 151, (June 1920). Howard notes that a US Senate Hearing also included the Harbord comments.

63. The schools and organizations Karabekir established within the XV. Army Corps during 1919 to care for the war orphans apparently formed the basis of the ocuk Esirgeme Kurumu founded later by the TBMM government.

64. Individuals are identified in Karabekir, 181-182. It is suggested that the Minister of Interior in Istanbul, Adil Bey; Minister of War in Istanbul, Sleyman Sefik Pasha were also implicated. Texts of cables provided in Karabekir, 203.

65. Numerous texts and analysis are scattered in Karabekir, 156-358.

66. Their correspondence with the Istanbul Ministry of Interior were intercepted, outlining the basic plan. Texts are in Karabekir, 208-210.

67. Karabekir, 262-264.

68. Karabekir notes that, later refined intelligence indicated a secondary objective of the plotters: ambushing the Sivas Congress, arresting and sending its leadership to Istanbul. Karabekir, 182. See also Borak, Pp. 324-337.

69. What was prevented in Eastern Asia Minor, was reenacted in the Northwest and Western Asia Minor, during early 1920. Those provocations had to be dealt with military units and the Independence Tribunals [Istiklal Mahkemeleri]. See, for example, the communication related to the Anzavur incident in Karabekir, 502-510. See also Bilal Simsir, Ingiliz Belgeleri ile Sakarya'dan Izmir'e (1921-1922) (Istanbul, 1972).

70. Shortly after the aforementioned military movements commenced, Major Noel's superiors began appearing in the territories of the XIII. and III. Army Corps: On 12 September 1919, Colonel Zehzild (Sp?), who was based in Malatya; on 13 September, 1919, Colonel Neil (Neal?) who especially came to Malatya in connection with this matter; on 12 September 1919, Colonel Pepl (Sp?), who arrived separately, from Aleppo, in Malatya; all of whom personally received hearty protests from the XIII. Army Corps Commander, General Cevdet. In addition, the US General Hanlig (Sp?), in charge of another investigative delegation on its way to Harput and Sivas, received a detailed briefing of the events. The XIII. Army Corps Commander Cevdet Bey also telegraphed his vehement protests to the British General Commanding in Aleppo. Reportedly, Col. Neil indicated that Major Noel had acted without the information or authority of the British government, therefore was being withdrawn immediately. See 239 and 246.

71. Text of "Crimes of the Cabinet" in Karabekir, 182-184; pages 226-228 contain the synopsis of the events, and what the Istanbul government hoped to accomplish.

72. Texts in Karabekir, 283-294.

73. One sample is in Karabekir, 296-297.

74. On 5 April 1920, General Denikin arrived in Istanbul aboard a British destroyer, in the company of his Chief of Staff and visited the "Romanoff Embassy" in Istanbul. Denikin's Chief of Staff was murdered by persons unknown, upon which Denikin immediately returned to the destroyer.

75. Brother and uncle respectively, of Enver. Both had participated in the First World War against the Russians, appointed as Generals and Army Commanders by Enver. After the Armistice, both had attempted to organize an Army of Islam in the Caucasus with which to fight the Bolsheviks. They failed and were detained.

76. See Richard Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917-1921; Intervention and the War (Princeton, 1961), 75; 227-230. The idea was originally advanced by British General Smuts, who was opposed by Curzon.

77. For example, see La Republique de l'Azerbaidjan du Caucase (Paris, 1919).

78. Karabekir, 456.

79. Karabekir sent word, directly (using a pen name) and via others, that Azerbaijan ought to come to an understanding with the Bolsheviks at the earliest possible opportunity, to retain its independence. Otherwise, he warned, any misstep --especially armed conflict-- would cause the demise of Azerbaijan. See 523-524. See also Hseyin Baykara Azerbaycan Istiklal Mucadelesi Tarihi (Istanbul, 1975).

80. Rauf Bey [Orbay] (1881-1964) was a former Minister of Navy of the Ottoman Empire. He went to Istanbul as a Meclisi Mebusan deputy, with full sanction of the TBMM movement, aware of what could happen. He was among the group arrested within the Meclisi Mebusan and interned at Malta by the British. After his release and return, he also served as TBMM Prime Minister (1922-1923).

81. The specific date is not indicated, but probably not later than June 1919.

82. Karabekir, 58.

83. See Y. Akyuz, Turk Kurtulus Savasi ve Fransiz Kamuoyu, 1919-1922 (Ankara, 1988); M. N. Lohanizade, Gaziantep Savunmasi (Istanbul, 1989); Kazim Ozturk, Ataturk'n TBMM Aik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari, Vol. I, 291-294. Also, Karabekir, 460-464.

84. Mustafa Kemal to Karabekir, cable, 6 February 1920; outlines the current and its debate. Karabekir, 465-467. See also Borak.

85. During 1919 alone, for example, there were no less than eleven new Ministers of War in Istanbul.

86. See also Mahmut Sevket Pasa Sadrazam ve Harbiye Naziri Mahmut Sevket Pasa'nin Gunlugu (Istanbul, 1988).

87. The territories lost to Russia in the 19th century included west and northwest of Nakchevan, including Batum, Kars and Ardahan. Those were restored to the Ottomans by the Brest-Litovsk treaty of 3 March 1918, but the treaty provisions were not yet implemented. That is not to say that Karabekir had not that very idea, reoccupation of the lost territories. However, Karabekir was determined to choose his own timing. He was not allowed by the TBMM, and had to comply with a much different timetable. See also A. B. Kadishev, Interventsiia i grazhdanskaia voina v zakavkaz'e (Moscow, 1960); G. Madatov, Pobeda sovetskoi vlasti v Nakhichevani i obrazovannie Nakhichevanskoi ASSR (Baku, 1968); and the Fevzi Cakmak volume.

88. See cables: Karabekir to Mustafa Kemal (22 February 1920); and Mustafa Kemal, on behalf of the Representative Council, to Karabekir (23 February 1920). They are both lengthy and complex, providing details on the suspicion that there may yet be another agenda to the Allied encouragement of Ankara, one that would pit the forces of TBMM directly against those of the Istanbul government, thereby allowing the Allied powers to exert control over the considerably weakened survivors. Karabekir, 478-482.

89. See E. E. Adamov (Ed.) Razdel Aziatskoi Turstsii (Partition of Asiatic Turkey) (Moscow, 1924) is based on the papers of the tsarist Foreign Ministry Papers. This book was published when the Bolsheviks were eager to be seen as completely breaking with the tsarist mold. This work was translated into Turkish by Staff Officer Lt. Col. Babaeskili Huseyin Rahmi in Amiens-France and published as Anadolunun Taksim Plani (Istanbul, 1926). A Second Edition was made (Istanbul, 1972).

90. Some twenty-five years later, immediately after the Second World War, Russians did just that, and demanded the very same territory from the Turkish Republic.

91. For the general model developed for the purpose, see A. Reznikov The Comintern and the East: Strategy and Tactics (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1984). This is an abridged translation from the original 1978 Russian edition.

92. For an inside view, see Va-Nu (Vala Nureddin), Bu Dunyadan Nazim Gecti. (Istanbul, 1965). Also, S. S. Aydemir, Suyu Arayan Adam (Istanbul, 1972). Further, H. B. Paksoy, "Nationality and Religion: Three Observations from mer Seyfettin" Central Asian Survey Vol. 3, No. 3, (1984) for an example on the activities of nationalist literati of the era.

93. Detailed reports from the Caucasus are in Karabekir, 491-497, including the political spectrum in Azerbaijan.

94. Cable dated 5 March 1920 from Rauf [Orbay] to TBMM, concerning 1) "non-publication" of the Harbord Report [sic], and 2) Rauf Bey's words: "we shall look to the East if... the US does not follow through its publicly made commitments" are significant. Karabekir, 513.

See also "King-Crane Report on the Near East, A Suppressed Official Document of the United States Government," Editor and Publisher, LV, No. 27 (December 2, 1922), i-xxvii.

95. Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was announced on 28 May 1918. It was re-occupied by the Russsians on 28 April 1920, despite the written guarantees they gave to the contrary.

96. Karabekir, 520, 522.

97. Karabekir notes that in the end Dr. Fuat Sabit became a real Bolshevik, returned to the TBMM territories with money and secret code to communicate with his controllers, established his operation across Karabekir's headquarters and was caught red handed. The tone of the references to Dr. Fuat Sabit suggests that Karabekir took the incident rather personally, perhaps even regarding it as a personal failure. See note on 794.

98. Cable from Mustafa Kemal to Karabekir, dated 15 March 1920. 526.

99. Karabekir, 528.

100. After Karabekir's orders were carried out, the TBMM leadership in Ankara, through Mustafa Kemal, directed Karabekir to invite Rawlinson "to be our guest."

101. In his memoirs, Rawlinson seems to dispute this.

102. Rawlinson speaks very highly of Karabekir, though not recording every encounter the two had.

103. Intelligence reports are on Karabekir, 539-543. According to the reporting officer, one member of this delegation was "an Ottoman Turk who had moved to the tsarist domains some five or six years earlier." The second was a Tatar from Crimea and the third "a Moslem" from Yalta. They carried credentials sewn into the inner linings of their trouser belts. It appears that this delegation was discovered by happenstance. Karabekir ordered additional information on the circumstances through which this Delegation came into contact with his officers.

104. Cables dated 17 March to 21 March 1920. Karabekir, 544- 554.

105. Details of the conditions are on Karabekir, 550-554. On communications censorship, see 590.

106. At that moment, the border was almost immediately to the East of Trabzon, as a result of the 1877 and 1914 losses.

107. Karabekir does not provide the details of how the prior arrangement was made. On the other hand, it was probably accomplished through Staff Officer Captain Mustafa Bey, or by the Commander of the 7th Regiment (of the component 3rd Division in Trabzon of the XV. Army Corps), Riza Bey (no rank given). Both had been previously sent to make contact with the bolsheviks. There is also mention of another Captain by the name of Ihsan Efendi, who had been on the Staff of the 3rd Division Commander Rst during the First World War, also sent by the 3rd Division Commander across the border upon receiving orders from Karabekir on 17 March. See 543.

108. Karabekir, 571-575.

109. Meaning "National Forces." When the Greek armies began occupying Western Asia Minor in May 1919, most of the citizenry in the region formed defense and resistance units to fight the invasion. These units were generally known as "Kuvai Milliye." See Shaw, 340-1. Karabekir continually argued against converting the existing Army Corps structure into "Kuvai Milliye," as some others (such as Ali Fuat and Mustafa Kemal) advocated, for it would not have brought any advantage, since the Army Corps were the National Forces. Portions of the XIV. (Bandirma) and the XX. (Ankara) Corps, in the vicinity of Eskisehir and towards the Northwest, were actually "converted" --whatever that may have signified-- into "Kuvai Milliye" and entered into armed conflicts; probably not all sanctioned by the full Representative Council in Ankara. Shortly afterward, that designation was abandoned, and the Army Corps structure reinstituted for the XIV. and XX. See Borak; Ozturk, for related events.

110. Karabekir, 581.

111. On 28 March 1920, Karabekir wrote to Halil and Nuri Pashas, asking them to establish a wireless in the city of Gence and transmit information to be received by those three stations of the XV. Army Corps. Karabekir indicates that his wireless were using the call "E. B. K."

112. She also served as a translator to several delegations consulting with the King-Crane Commission in Istanbul regarding the American Mandate. See her Turkiye'de Sark, Garp ve Amerikan Tesirleri, (Istanbul, 1955).

113. Texts are on Karabekir, 609-616.

114. It is possible that during the transcription process (It is recalled that the TBMM adopted the Latin alphabet during 1928, and the documents were originally written in the "Ottoman Script"), the letter b may have been omitted from the name Baha Sabit.

115. [sic] The text does not state "by you," but is elliptical.

116. Cable from Karabekir to Mustafa Kemal, dated 12 April 1920.

117. Karabekir to Mustafa Kemal, cable dated 13 April 1920. 618-619.

118. Karabekir to Mustafa Kemal, 13 April 1920. 620-624.

119. Not to be confused with the Karakol Cemiyeti [Outpost Society] operational in Istanbul in 1919, which was suppressed by the Allies, and succeeded by the "M. M." groups. See below.

120. Text in Karabekir, 628-630.

121. It appears that this Kara Vasif Bey is a different person than the Vasif Bey who worked to effect the American Mandate. According to the documentation provided by S. S. Aydemir, Makedonya'dan Orta Asya'ya Enver Pasa (Istanbul, 1972) Vol. 3, Kara Vasif Bey was working for Enver Pasha, receiving regular pay. In return, the Bolshevik government was funding Enver and his various secret organizational efforts via the Foreign Affairs Commisar. Enver wished to return to Asia Minor, take over the TBMM movement and replace its leadership with previous CUP cadres.

122. Mustafa Kemal to Karabekir, dated 16 April 1920. Texts are in Karabekir, 630-632. See also Borak.

123. Texts are on Karabekir, 633-634.

124. See Ozturk, Ataturk'n TBMM Acik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari.

125. See notes on 650-656. However, this is not a widely held view. It is said that Karabekir was, by that time, in political opposition to Mustafa Kemal. See Shaw, 360-1.

126. Yomut is a tribe of the Turkmen, a fact Karabekir acknowledges further down the Declaration. This dual treatment of the Yomut by Karabekir may be due to the widespread presence of Yomut, from Iran to Afghanistan.

127. Text in Karabekir, 661-662.

For Z. V. Togan, see H. B. Paksoy, "Z. V. TOGAN on the Origins of the Kazaks and the Ozbeks," in Central Asia Reader: The Rediscovery of History, H. B. Paksoy, Ed. (NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1994); idem, "Zeki Velidi Togan's Account: The Basmachi Movement from Within." Nationalities Papers, Vol. 23 (1995).

Togan mentions his efforts to communicate with the TBMM Government in his Hatiralar [Memoirs], (Istanbul, 1969), published a year before his death in Istanbul.

128. Texts are on Karabekir, 662-663. Also Borak.

129. The contradiction between the date mentioned earlier and this one is perhaps due to messages arriving overnight, straddling two days, or caused by the date conversion method, an issue referenced earlier.

130. Contents are in Karabekir, 667-668.

131. Karabekir, 673-678.

132. One specific instance concerns Mustafa Kemal's repeated attempts to give orders to two officers in Karabekir's Command, without informing Karabekir in advance. Karabekir discovered the incident by means of personally breaking the code of a suspicious telegram. He confronted Mustafa Kemal politely, and the officers concerned firmly. Details on 680- 683.

The correspondence given in Borak, Pp. 266-280, indicates that Mustafa Kemal was engaged in intelligence work on his own, and that this incident masked a much more serious matter. At issue was an Ittihat ve Terakki group loyal to Enver Pasha's attemting to overthrow the TBMM by force. Mustafa Kemal was ugrently undoing the efforts of Enver. The indicated pages in Borak also contain copies of cables informing Karabekir of the developments.

133. Texts on Karabekir, 682-684. R. Pipes in his The Formation of the Soviet Union, 1917-1924, 2nd printing (Harvard, 1970) on 181 states that Orenburg was captured by the Bolsheviks during January 1919. However, Togan, in his Hatiralar, 324, notes he had received the said telegram as the Chairman of the Orenburg Government, from Mustafa Kemal in "Erzurum," relayed from Orenburg via Sterlitamak to Moscow where he was at that moment. Togan acknowledges that the Orenburg Government "was living its last breaths."

134. Albayrak is probably the first TBMM era periodical, established (perhaps even at the urging of Karabekir) before the Erzurum Congress, thus predates its counterparts in Sivas and Ankara. However, Karabekir's comments on the owner/publisher of this paper are not very favorable, since the latter attempted to engage in political intrigue. See Karabekir, note on 833.

135. Texts in Karabekir, 695-696. See also A. Gkoglu, Inkilabimizda Posta ve Telgrafcilar (Istanbul, 1938).

Telegraphers attached to the TBMM intelligence organizations in occupied Istanbul managed to evade all Allied censorship controls and continually provided information to Karabekir and Ankara. As recorded by the chiefs of those organizations, such as the "M. M. Group," often they operated around the clock. For details, see, for example, Kemal Koer, Kurtulus Savasimizda Istanbul: Isgal Senelerinde M. M. Gurubunun Gizli Faaliyeti (Istanbul, 1946); Husamettin Erturk, Iki Devrin Perde Arkasi (S. N. Tansu, Ed.) (Istanbul, 1957).

There were a number of groups "signing" with the "M. M." designation in Istanbul. That may have been deliberate, to confuse outsiders, or, a linguistic happenstance. In all cases, the first "M" stands for National. Depending on the group, the second "M" was the abbreviation for one of the following: Defense, Resistance, Struggle, Response.

The first TBMM Counter-Intelligence organization appears to have been named simply "Military Police," abbreviated as "A. P." It was formed probably during late 1919 or early 1920, had the task of preventing foreign infiltration agents reaching Ankara.

136. Eventually, no funds were received.

137. For summaries, see the contents of cable dated 9 May 1920, from XII. Army Corps (Konya) to III. Army Corps (Sivas). Karabekir, 720-721; and 728.

138. Cables in Karabekir, 720-745.

139. Text on Karabekir, 755-756; Ozturk, Ataturk'n TBMM Acik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari.

140. Signed shortly before that year. See Shaw 332.

141. Karabekir, 762-763.

142. (1872-1922) Former Minister of Navy of the Ottoman Empire, a member of the ruling Triumvirate of the governing Committee of Union and Progress party. Assassinated by an Armenian terrorist.

143. Texts on Karabekir, 784-801; also Borak.

144. See Karabekir, 809.

145. Karabekir, 812; also 817 and 822.

146. In his memoirs, Rawlinson alludes to his methods, and the help he received from the Istanbul government.

147. Identified as Staff Officer Major Ismail Hakki and Aziz Bey. They state they were sent to the Northern Caucasus together, as part of a delegation, upon specific request of a Plenipotentiary from Northern Caucasus applying to Cemal and Fevzi Pashas (in their capacities as Ministers of War), arriving there (with the knowledge and aid of Karabekir) at the end of March 1920. Their duties included organizing the defense of Northern Caucasus and securing its independence. This was a matter which interested Enver Pasha very much. See also [Issuing Body] Kuzey Kafkas-Turk Kltr Dernegi Yayini 11 Mayis 1918: Simali Kafkasya'nin Istiklali (Istanbul, 1965). Further, M. Butbay, Kafkasya Hatiralari, yayina hazirlayan: A. C. Canbulat (Ankara, 1990).

148. Appears to be a translation of "soviet," as used by the Bolsheviks.

149. Texts of related cables are in Karabekir, 826-836.

150. See the letters by Halil in Masayuki Yamauchi, The Green Crescent Under the Red Star: Enver Pasha in Soviet Russia 1919-1922 (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1991) for the motives of Halil.

151. See Z. V. Togan, Hatiralar, for a clandestine inside view. This Congress was earlier instigated by Togan, by speaking to Lenin, Stalin and other TsK members. Also, Stephen White, "The Baku Congress of the Toilers of the East," Slavic Review, September, 1967; R. Pipes, Formation of the Soviet Union.

152. Karabekir, 849-854; also Borak.

153. Halil Pasha was now attempting to scheme against Karabekir, by secretly appealing to Karabekir's Chief of Staff for joint action. See note on 863.

154. In his lengthy footnote, he also disagrees with Mustafa Kemal's memoirs, Nutuk, citing page numbers and providing copies of his own cables in refutation. See. Karabekir, 869- 871.

155. Text on Karabekir, 870-872.

156. The type of this "privilege" which is not clear. The officer uses the phrase "Demir adam sahibi imtiyazi sahibi imis."

157. Text on Karabekir, 872-875. Also documents in Yamauchi, on the "black market."

158. Arif Baytin, who commanded an Ottoman Infantry Regiment during the First World War, provides a vivid account of Enver's "field activities" at the "Caucasus Front." According to Baytin, Enver --Minister of Defense, Son-in-Law to the Imperial Family, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Member of the Ruling Triumvirate of the Governing CUP; in essence combining all the Military and Civilian authority in his person-- arrived with his German Staff and began giving verbal orders to a Regimental Commander, to start the fighting in the Caucasus Front. The hastily conceived and issued orders, bypassing all chains-of-command and plans, turned the tide against the Ottoman forces within three days, when Enver left the "field" and returned Istanbul. See Arif Baytin, Ilk Dunya Harbinde Kafkas Cephesi [The Caucasus Front During the First World War] (Istanbul, 1946). Baytin himself was taken prisoner by the Russians, sent to Siberia. For further details on the topic, and commentary, see Necdet Oklem, 1. Cihan Savasi ve Sarikamis: Ihsan Pasa'nin Anilari, Sibiryada Esaretten Kacis (Izmir, 1985). On the other hand, Husamettin Erturk, in his Iki Devrin Perde Arkasi, warmly praises Enver, especially due to the establishment of the "Teskilat-i Mahsusa," the secret service of the CUP, which was active in the Caucasus and North Africa. In very elliptical terms, Erturk implies that this organization also performed duties elsewhere. See also Karabekir's volumes on this topic.

159. Karabekir, 875-876. See also Borak for correspondence in the same vein between Enver and Mustafa Kemal.

160. Karabekir, 883-884.

161. Identified only as "Edward Fox, District Commander, N. E. B. Kars."

162. For a while, his brother Mdivani was the Menshevik Georgian Ambassador to Ankara. See Karabekir, 931.

163. See Ozturk, Ataturk'n TBMM Acik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari, 247-248, on the designation of a replacement Foreign Minister. Bekir Sami Bey, who was the Foreign Minister, was earlier appointed to the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation to Moscow.

164. It is not clear if the cable or the Foreign Minister was delayed.

165. For his memoirs of the period, see Ali Fuat [Cebesoy], Moskova Hatiralari (Ankara, 1982).

166. See Masayuki Yamauchi, "A Possible solution of Mustafa Subhi's Case: A Letter in the Archives of the Turkish Historical Society" Turkestan: als historischer Faktor und politische Idee (Baymirza Hayit Festschrift) Erling von Mende (Ed.) (Koln, 1988). In a letter written by Talat to Enver, is a description of events from Talat's point of view, concerning the demise of Mustafa Subhi and his comrades.

167. See Ozturk, Ataturk'un TBMM Acik ve Gizli Oturumlarindaki Konusmalari, 319-320, on the duties of the specialized personnel assigned to the Embassy Delegation, and granting of leave of absence.

168. Arriving in Moscow on 18 February 1921.

169. This American Institution appears to be one of the many Relief Organizations operating in the region. Karabekir does not provide further information on her affiliation.

170. Karabekir, 318.

171. Any sane commander would have rejected the proposal, given the strategic conditions prevailing in the Caucasus. Moreover, the TBMM Western Front was simultaneously under very heavy pressure from the invading Greek Armies.

172. Which included the recovery of only the territories lost during the 1877 and 1914 in the East.

173. The reports were finally delivered. At this point, Karabekir indicates the arrival in Moscow of a TBMM "Delegation." On 925, Karabekir mentions in passing that Captain Bahattin Efendi, the Liaison Officer in Yerevan, was his ADC.

174. Text on Karabekir, 928-931.

175. The letter was dated 25 January 1921. It detailed the circumstances of the munitions being sent by Moscow to TBMM [not the makes and calibers promised], names and personal details of officers put in charge of the transfer of arms from both sides, political and general conditions in Moscow, including rampant inflation [one "funt" (approximately one pound by weight) of cooking oil costing 13,000 rubles, sugar 27,000], and the status of the old CUP leadership. The existence of a "free market" in Moscow, in which goods not available from the Bolshevik government channels could be had "on the left" is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects adumbrated.

The author of the letter arrived four days after the letter, on 25 March 1921, and was immediately sent on to Ankara.

176. Full text in Karabekir, 945-950; Gologlu, Turk Istiklal Harbi.

177. Karabekir implies that they conversed in French.

178. See Ali Fuat Cebesoy, Moskova Hatiralari; Karabekir, 428-450. Shortly afterwards, Ali Fuat resigned.

179. (1879-1943), a member of the CUP; later joined the opposing Liberal Union. He became a TBMM Deputy, Minister of Health (1920), of Foreign Affairs (1921). In 1921, he joined the TBMM Plenipotentiary Delegation sent to Lausanne. His memoirs are published. See Shaw; also Cavit O. Tutengil, Dr. Riza Nur Uzerine: Yazi, Yankilar, Belgeler (Ankara, 1965); and S. S. Aydemir, Makedonya'dan Orta Asya'ya Enver Pasa Vol. 3. (Istanbul, 1972), who critically traces Riza Nur's activities prior to 1920.

180. Voluminous correspondence on the topic is in Karabekir, 956-974.

181. Text on Karabekir, 975-976.

182. Details of the Conference and the resulting treaty on Karabekir, 1001-1028. Karabekir mentions he had the text of the Treaty published separately.

183. S. R. Gibbons and P. Morican, League of Nations and UNO (Longman, 1970).

184. Predictably, the Soviet sources are generally silent on this matter. Moreover, Soviet historiography usually treats the era thinly, customarily bypassing the 1919-1925 period. See, for example, [Issuing Body] Akademia Nauk SSSR, Institut Vostokovedenia Problemy istorii Turtsii (sbornik stateii), (Moscow, 1978); B. M Potskhveriia Vneshniaia politika Turtsii posle vtoroi mirovoi viony (Moscow, 1976). Instead, Soviet authors prefer referring to a "friendship" between V. I. Lenin and M. K. Ataturk eliptically, based on their diplomatic correspondence and speeches.

There is also the matter of a "phantom letter" supposedly written by M. Kemal to Lenin on 26 April 1920. It appears to be a propaganda operation by Soviet organs, and that no such letter was written. See Borak Pp. 193-196.

Karabekir's role in the War of Independence is not universally noted. See SSSR i Turtsii, 1917-1979 M. A. Gasratian and P. P. Moiseev (Eds.) (Moscow, 1981), where there are passing references to Karabekir's Istiklal Harbimiz, for example to P. 882, where Karabekir notes the arrival of gold from Moscow (see text above).

185. Correspondence that took place between Ataturk and President Roosevelt, shortly before Ataturk's death (in 1937), indicates Roosevelt's desire to meet Ataturk. It is stated that Roosevelt wished to visit Ataturk in the Turkish Republic. See Borak, Pp. 365-367.

186. The Turkish Republic "...declared war on Germany on 23 February 1945, just in time to become a charter member of the United Nations." Shaw, 399.

187. See Documents on the Middle East, 128-130.

188. See, for example, Charles Wolf, Jr., Turkish Development Prospects and Policies in Light of Experiences Elsewhere (Rand Note N-1449, 1980); Paul Henze, The Plot to Kill the Pope (London, 1984); Lucille Pevsner, Turkey's Political Crisis: Background, Perspectives, Prospects (Praeger, 1984) (The Washington Papers/110, Center for International and Strategic Studies); Philip Robins, Turkey and the Middle East (NY: Chatham House/Council on Foreign Relations, 1991); Monteagle Stearns, Entangled Allies (NY: Council on Foreign Relations, 1991). A partial Soviet view is found in A. G. Aksenenko, Borba politicheskikh partii Turtsii za vlianii na molodezh, 1920-1980 (Moscow, 1986).

Created: Saturday, February 15, 1997, 09:09 Last Updated: 2 May, 2006